In these fraught and socially distant times, we Twin Cities folk have few pleasures left in life other than looking at pictures of a turkey hanging out in Uptown Minneapolis.
In reality, there are probably quite a few of these guys, but their internet following tends to consolidate them into one or two omnipresent local characters. As if there’s just the one “Uptown Turkey,” and this lil’ dickens is everywhere.
This is him hanging out and waiting for a bus, like he’s people.
This is him trying to get tan.
This is him looking waaaaay confident considering how close the photographer probably was.
This is him as a meme.
2.0 from r/Minneapolis
He’s even got a Reddit account of his own.
But lately, there’s been some discussion on Twin Cities forums about Uptown Turkey’s whereabouts. This Reddit user says the turkey (here affectionately referred to as “Doug”) may or may not have been hit by a car, according to “rumors.”
Other posts say Doug was spotted “staggering around” on Lyndale in front of Pizza Luce, until he “collapsed” on the median strip in the road, presumably injured or worse.
But this one – who didn’t respond to interview requests – seems to think he was… kidnapped??
In the comments, the poster clarified that the alleged abductor used a black trash bag and was in plain clothes – just “a normal guy driving a truck.”
Elsewhere in the replies, people casually ruminate about whether Doug, a cherished local celebrity, would be good eating. (The jury is still out.)
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources wasn’t immediately aware of a reported fowl kidnapping or injury, and frankly, they’re probably getting pretty tired of City Pages calling about missing turkeys or asking someone to identify the occasional weird skeleton.
When they’re not hanging out in Uptown or terrorizing grown men in Northeast, willd turkeys in Minnesota – particularly juvenile males -- have an odd predilection to stand or pace back and forth in the center of busy highways. It is not known to the Department of Natural Resources why they do this, but they are “not easily dispersed.”
It’s entirely possible Doug could have been hit by a car… or plucked off the street… or both.
If you happen to know, drop us a line. He may be a jerk, but we’re worried about the guy.