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6 turkeys dropped from plane at Arkansas festival, 1 dies

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These two wild turkeys are gobbling to a nearby group of turkey hens.

YELLVILLE, Ark.  — Six live turkeys were dropped from a small plane as part of a northwestern Arkansas community’s annual tradition, with one of the six apparently dying when it hit the ground.

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports  that about 400 people attended the Turkey Trot festival Friday in Yellville, which is about 90 miles north of Little Rock.

The turkeys initially dropped straight down for a while before most got their bearings and glided to a landing. Festival goers took off after the birds trying to catch them.

Animal-welfare groups have condemned the tradition, which has been going on for about 50 years, however no protesters were seen.

Turkeys can fly, but usually at less than 100 feet. They’re dropped from about 500 feet.

Sixty-six-year-old Barb Klug of Bull Shoals got the dead bird and says she plans to serve it for Thanksgiving dinner.