By Brandon B. QuinnThere was an assault in Water Mill late Monday night, and the Evelyn Alexander Wildlife Rescue Center was first on the scene.
The Water Mill turkey—which has halted traffic all summer while meandering near the village green windmill—was found by a passerby in front of Robert’s restaurant early Tuesday with its feet taped together with blue painter’s tape.
Jane Gill, a volunteer for the Wildlife Rescue Center in Hampton Bays, responded to the call and found the male turkey hopping around, trying to break free from the tape. Along with a Good Samaritan, Jason Klinge, Ms. Gill was able to capture it and free its legs.
The turkey, which has become a minor local celebrity, is safe, according to Jim Hunter, a volunteer at the center. “We have it here, it’s very tired, but in good enough health.”
“Once we’re all done with him, we are going to relocate him outside of Water Mill for his safety. I know some people have complained about traffic, but there’s traffic everywhere,” said Mr. Hunter. “But he can fly, so if he flies back to Water Mill, then that is where he wants to be, so we’ll leave him.”
Mr. Hunter added that there will be no investigation by police into the matter, as “it could have been anybody. Probably just a couple of drunks trying to catch the turkey. You know how it goes.”
“It had to be more than one person—one person could not capture him,” said Ms. Gill.
The turkey, which made its first appearance around Earth Day in April, has been named many things by its many fans, including “Tsukune,” which means chicken meatball, by the staff at Suki Zuki; “Tartan the Turkey” by Tim Danser, owner of the Prince of Scots store; and “Jake,” the traditional name for a juvenile male turkey, by the newsroom at The Press.