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Zelda (photo by Lorenzo Ciniglio for Downtown Express)

Zelda is a wild turkey who has lived in Battery Park for six years.  She is street savvy and occasionally goes on walking tours of Tribeca and the village—or at least she used to.  I can’t find any sightings of her after Thanksgiving 2009.  Articles about her tend to allude to her deliciousness and feature aggressive quotes from hungry plebeians.  Maybe someone or something killed her and ate her!

At any rate, her long residence in Battery Park highlights the durability and intelligence of turkeys.  Unlike the hapless rabbits, turkeys have multiple bastions in Manhattan including Riverside Park and Inwood Hill Park.  They are clever flying animals who are extremely gifted at avoiding predators by means of guile.  You saw that I mentioned flying?  A wild turkey can fly at speeds of up to 55 miles per hour.  It may be that Zelda is lying low or that (like all good hearted beings) she came to her senses and fled Wall Street as quickly as possible.

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