Thanksgiving is just about here for those of us in the U.S. and for many families, it means celebrating the season by spending time and giving thanks for what we have with friends and family. There’s also the ubiquitous Thanksgiving feast that so many of us look forward to with creamy mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole topped with gooey, melted marshmallow, green bean casserole, that jelly-like cranberry sauce from a can (or the homemade stuff), and of course, turkey as the centerpiece. But instead of celebrating with turkey, we should celebrate the birds themselves because even though Smithsonian debunked the myth of Benjamin Franklin pulling for turkeys to be our national bird, there’s a lot to love about them. Our feathered friends the turkeys are super smart and capable of learning the geography of an area in order to find food — meanwhile, we sometimes our smartphones to help us navigate to a restaurant we’ve been to dozens of times just to be sure we’re going the right way. Turkeys are also highly social animals with team spirit and love to kick around round objects like soccer balls. Like many birds, they love music and aren’t shy about busting a move.

We can also find a lot of similarities between turkeys and our cats and dogs. For example, Leon, the turkey in the photos below, adores being cuddled by humans. According to KXTV, Leon was found wandering the streets in Ventura County, California and was brought to the local animal shelter. Soon after, he was transported to his new home at Harvest Home Animal Sanctuary.


What better way for this lucky turkey to celebrate the holiday season than a sanctuary home? Leon the turkey loves to be held and cuddled by humans.

When Leon paid a visit to the vet’s office, he was so at ease in the registered vet tech’s lap that he decided to take a nap. Turkeys sleep for 16-18 hours a day, so a warm lap was the perfect spot for him to get his beauty rest.

According to KXTV, he also “loves to be carried around, petted and kissed. Most of all, he enjoys getting his belly rubbed,” just like our canine companions.

Also not unlike our cats and dogs, Leon (when he’s awake) also likes to know what everyone is up to. Being blind in one eye doesn’t keep him from keeping tabs on the humans.



We’re so happy that this fabulous turkey found wandering the streets was delivered to the right people. At Harvest Home Animal Sanctuary, Leon will be loved and appreciated for the beautiful, affectionate bird he is. If you’re interested in helping the sanctuary take care of Leon and their other turkey residents, then you can learn about sponsoring a turkey here.


To learn more about Harvest Home Animal Sanctuary, visit their official website.

All image source: Harvest Home Animal Sanctuary/Facebook