Carolina Waterfowl Rescue is caring for a young male turkey that officers found hanging by his feet from an apartment balcony on Farmhurst Drive in north Charlotte over the weekend.
The turkey, now named Rocky, was shackled with metal wire that was digging into his legs and had caused infection, said Jennifer Gordon, executive director of the nonprofit Carolina Waterfowl Rescue based in Indian Trail.
The wound was covered in maggots, and Rocky also has a “horrific” wing injury that will require surgery, Gordon said.
“His wing is dislocated like someone tried to pick him up by his wing and pulled it out of the socket,” Gordon said.
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The apartment property manager alerted police to Rocky, who had no food or water, said Melissa Knicely, spokeswoman for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department’s Animal Care and Control division.
Rocky was surrendered by his owners, who told officers they planned to eat him, Knicely said. No charges have been filed, but an investigation by Animal Care and Control is ongoing, she said.
Kim Miller, who supervises the Animal Care and Control kennel, knew how to hold and care for Rocky because she’d attended a recent basic wildlife rehabilitation course hosted by Carolina Waterfowl Rescue and Wildlife Rehabilitators of North Carolina.
Gordon said Rocky, who was named by vet tech Trisha Lopez, is “healing nicely” and “has been calling and calling to the other turkeys at the rescue. He can’t wait to make friends.”