Two-year-old Dale lives the perfect turkey life: He spends his days with the love of his life, Daphne, soaking up the sun and noshing on his favorite foods—fresh blueberries, raisins, shredded lettuce, and diced apples. But life wasn’t always this easy for this handsome bird; In 2009, a little turkey with foot deformities hatched his way onto a farm that raises, slaughters, and prepares meat for pot pies and seasonal meals. Knowing the handicapped bird would never survive, a tender-hearted worker brought him home, only to realize that the bird was lonely. He returned the very next day to rescue a companion, now known as Dale, for the bird. The chicks rapidly grew large and were soon too big for the worker’s abode, so he delivered them to their current home: Maple Farm Sanctuary in Mendon, MA. Now, Dale plays the role of “ambassador,” as sanctuary staff calls him, welcoming visitors by strutting around with a magnificent feather display that rivals any peacock’s. Giving a whole new meaning to the term “love bird,” Dale’s world revolves around his mate Daphne, whom he met at MFS, and the two are inseparable. This guy will certainly be grateful this Thanksgiving for his daring rescue, which now allows him to live a fulfilling existence and show the world why these unique birds deserve compassion and an escape from dinner-plate destiny.
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