RAPID CITY, SD – In a possible premiere for Rapid City, a turkey was pardoned by the mayor.
Originally started as a fun plea, Rapid City Mayor Steve Allender granted mercy to Gobbles on Monday morning, preventing him from being devoured.
Gobbles is a Narragansett turkey, a species named after Narragansett Bay, Rhode Island, where the breed was first developed. However, it is a fairly native bird from Bear Butte Gardens in Sturgis, where it was the last of its group.
The national pardon for birds dates back to 1863 with President Lincoln. He was given a turkey to eat, but his son Tad befriended the bird and viewed it as a pet.
After a confrontation with his father about the turkey, President Lincoln relented and wrote an unofficial statement for his son stating that the bird would not be eaten.
Under President George HW Bush in 1989, the President’s “forgiveness” of birds became an annual tradition.
For Mayor Allender, he hopes that this communal tradition will continue for the city, the community and at least one turkey a year.
“This should be a time of gratitude and gratitude, giving and thinking to others,” said Mayor Allender. “Maybe we will start doing this every year at the turkey pardon event.”
The event is a bit of fun for him and the community.
“The whole tradition of the president’s turkey pardon is fun. And so it’s all fun too, ”he said. “We need more of it and less of some of the other things we’ve done with our time over the past few years.”
Gobbles will spend the rest of his life on a new ranch to roam freely.