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What cruel people do to innocent animals in the name of entertainment can be downright appalling and nerve-rattling. In a twisted tradition that has existed for 72 years in Yellville, Arkansas, domestically-bred wild turkeys are dropped from high altitudes like the roofs of buildings, and for over 50 years, from moving airplanes hundreds of feet up in the air.

Wild turkeys are low-flying birds that typically only fly from tree to tree at an altitude of around 100 feet, but last year’s turkey drop had turkeys thrown from an airplane at altitudes between 600 to 700 feet! Yvonne Vizzier Thaxton, a professor of poultry science at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, said that such high altitude causes stress to the animals and that the turkey drop is a “horrific act of abuse.”

This year’s turkey drop began October 13, 2017, where turkeys were thrown off stages and rooftops. The following day, turkeys were dropped off airplanes. Last year, two turkeys died on impact from the fall from the airplane. PETA was there to document and save these innocent animals.

Gemma Vaughan, a caseworker with PETA, had this to report on the turkey drop: “We rescued four turkeys – one who was trussed by his legs and tossed onto the concrete where he lay panting as spectators walked over him, and another found bleeding from her neck and legs…Both are being rushed to a veterinarian for their injuries. Anywhere else, the participants would be in jail, and officials’ failure to prosecute those responsible makes Yellville synonymous with cruelty to animals…The turkey drop is a throwback to a sorry time when human beings were bone-ignorant of animals’ feelings.”

Footage captured by PETA shows just how backward this tradition is. A turkey is seen thrown from a stage into a crowd where a grown woman aggressively wrestled against a small child to violently pin the terrified turkey by its neck, while angrily hollering that she, not the child, caught the bird. Another backward-thinking individual pinned down a tied-up turkey as she mocked it and said how she would “fatten it up” and “chop its head off.” To watch this footage, click here.

Animal advocates have long fought to stop this tradition, but authorities have done nothing about it and claim no laws are being broken since there are no specific regulations regarding dropping live animals out of airplanes (major eye-roll), and the police do not want to investigate what would be a misdemeanor, which is what animal cruelty is classified as in Arkansas.

The only way this barbaric custom will end is with widespread public disapproval and educating people on why this practice is considered animal cruelty. So, PLEASE share this with your network to increase awareness of this incredibly serious issue.

Image Source: PETA