California Woman Offering $15k Reward for Missing Turkey Ahead of Thanksgiving

by Jennifer Shea
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A missing turkey in California is now worth $15,000 if returned alive.

The turkey, Kaley, is the mother of a poult who “looks and waits for her every day,” the New York Post reports.

Kaley disappeared from Hen Harbor, a Santa Cruz animal sanctuary. She went missing after the Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter unlawfully seized 300 of the sanctuary’s birds. The shelter eventually had to return the birds after a hearing found the birds were healthy.

Hen Harbor’s owner, Ariana Huemer, never got Kaley back. She says they first told her they gave the bird to a farmer who raises turkeys and chickens for slaughter. Then they told her a predator had killed Kaley. 

“If she did not actually die by a predator but was sold, as we believe, we want to save her life and time is running out,” said Jerry Friedman, Hen Harbor’s attorney.

So the animal sanctuary is offering a $15,000 reward for Kaley’s safe return. They added “no questions asked.”

“She is likely in Northern California and may be in the company of two other gray, similar-looking turkeys,” Huemer told Triangle News. “Kaley is distinguishable by her love of kale, affinity for small chickens and a distinct ‘beard’ on her chest (unusual in female turkeys).”

The animal sanctuary fears Kaley, if alive, is in grave danger. Thanksgiving is not a safe time of year to be a turkey.

“The reward amount was decided upon based on the urgency to save her life from what we fear is her murder for the Thanksgiving holiday,” Friedman said.

He added that the caretakers at Hen Harbor forge emotional bonds with the turkeys. The birds are therefore priceless to Huemer and her coworkers. They hope someone will have spotted Kaley and will turn her in for the reward money.

Outsider.com