Earlier this year, a wild turkey meandering around a central Missouri neighborhood captivated residents and was deemed a “local celebrity” by one of its local newspapers, the Columbia Missourian.
But on Friday, the turkey — which brought joy to the Columbia community for months — died after the bird was struck by a vehicle, KOMU reported.
The story behind the turkey started sometime in February — possibly earlier as people began reporting sightings.
Residents by that time had shared stories of seeing the turkey on the roadways — specifically on Chapel Hill Road and Forum Boulevard in Columbia.
The turkey chased after cars, as video obtained by the Columbia Daily Tribune showed.
The bird also ventured into people’s yards and business parking lots, appearing in many photos posted to social media.
It became a bit of a traffic hazard, but nonetheless, people loved the turkey they nicknamed “Tina,” KOMU reported.
“Thank goodness someone finally got some glamour shots of me! My snood is on point and my caruncles are under control...and YES, there is finally a beard growing,” one Instagram post read with a close-up photo of Tina.
Another photo captured Tina on top of a police vehicle one day.
At one point, officials with the Missouri Department of Conservation tried to capture the turkey and relocate him to a more natural habitat, according to the Columbia Missourian. A department spokesman told the local media they wanted to place Tina in safer environment, away from traffic.
But that never happened as Tina’s adventures came to an end on Friday morning.
The “traffic-stopping” turkey Columbia folks knew and loved died after he was hit by a vehicle, the conservation department confirmed to KOMU.
The announcement was also made on Tina’s Facebook page.
“Tina, you brought a lot of joy to those that got to witness your daily antics and silly personality. We are so sorry your environment turned out to be too urban for you,” the post read. “The Department of Conservation and us so badly wish you could have lived your life out in peace outside of the city limits. You will be missed and our drives down Chapel Hill and Forum won’t quite be the same.”
Months before his death, Tina made a visit to an insurance office, as shown in a photo on Facebook.
The post itself, written by the Tina’s fans, alluded to the turkey’s risky lifestyle that would one day lead to his demise on the streets of Columbia.
“I’m back at this morning running a few errands. First stop Winter-Dent & Company to check on my insurance policies,” the March 13 Facebook post said. “You can never be too prepared when you live a life on the edge such as myself.”