Some people might call their elected officials “turkey” -- among some other names -- but this “appointed” mayor is the real deal. His name is Smoke, and he’s a wild turkey who has made himself at home in the small town of Ashwaubenon, outside Green Bay, Wisconsin.
Smoke, according to The Washington Post, liked to chase cars, and “talk” to his constituents, gobbling like he was passing along some wisdom to his neighbors.
The turkey is even seen at the same four-way intersection, standing on the median at rush hour, as if he’s a traffic cop directing traffic, the Post reported.
Smoke has become so popular, the village has named him its mayor. There’s even a Facebook group and his neighbors are documenting his adventures.
Animal control officers have tried and tried and tried to catch Smoke, to relocate him to a wildlife sanctuary, but the bird has so far, outsmarted his human “constituents.”
Some worried about their safety, but many say that Smoke has brought the majority of the community together with his high jinks.
“I think some folks will be sad to see him go. He’s brought a lot of smiles to people’s faces here. We’re a divided country, and here this turkey is directing traffic for folks on their way to work, and it gives them something to cheer about,” Randy Tews, the Ashwaubenon public safety commander, told the Post.
And people are cheering.
“Life is hard and people are just trying to get by and go to work and pay their bills. To have something like this that you encounter on a daily basis that just brightens your day, it’s nice,” Andrew Nowakowski, a resident of the community, told the Post.
Nowakowski said that most people, before Smoke arrived, kept to themselves, now they’re forming friendships after coming together over the turkey.
“It’s something you can find commonality around, regardless of your political affiliation or what you do for a living. Everyone gets a kick out of the turkey,” Nowakowski said.
As for how long Smoke will hang around, police hope that he’ll fly the coop once heavy snow falls.
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