By Press Times Staff
ASHWAUBENON – At approximately 10:15 a.m. on Friday, Dec. 14 Ashwaubenon Public Safety was informed by the USDA Wildlife Biologists that they have captured the turkey commonly known as Smoke.
Smoke was captured humanely and was not injured.
The USDA, in cooperation with the local Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, have informed Ashwaubenon Public Safety that they will be relocating Smoke to an undisclosed wildlife area to allow him to live freely in the wild with other turkeys.
As recently as Nov. 27, the chair of the Ashwaubenon’s deer and turkey management committee spoke out in favor of relocating the infamous gobbler.
“If somebody hits that turkey, or does something to it, or takes it out, or whatever, they aren’t going to live it down for the rest of their lives,” said Trustee Mark Williams, committee chair on Nov. 27. “They’re going to get so much unwanted publicity… I don’t think that they’ll stick around this area, probably, or change their name or something, probably.”
Williams asked village staff to look into the possibility of relocating the bird, but not because he doesn’t want the turkey in Ashwaubenon.
“For our sake, we don’t need any unwanted publicity,” he said.
A Facebook page dedicated to Smoke refers to the bird as the Mayor of Ashwaubenon.
People from around the country and the world have joined the page profiling the turkey’s happenings in the village.
“He was caught in the middle of Park Place offices,” said one person on Facebook on Friday, Dec. 14. “Two men got out of a truck, they both had what looked like DNR patches on their jackets. It was a very quick and painless capture.”
On Monday, Dec. 10, Smoke was caught on film chasing a boy in the village, until a good Samaritan stopped in front of the bird allowing the child to get away.
Smoke had made headlines in The Daily Mail in the United Kingdom, as well as The Washington Post and was featured during the monologue on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.”