Fowl news. Butters, a wild turkey who brought joy to pandemic-weary Montrealers with his camera-friendly personality, died after being struck by a vehicle Thursday night, according to posts on the Butters NDG fan page.
“I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but our beloved Butters life has been cut short,” states a post on the page from January 28. “I witnessed his demise on the corner of Westminster & Cote Saint Luc road about 20 minutes ago.”
Butters, you’ve been a source of joy for many and we will miss you and your antics. Rest well.
Butters NDG fan page post
According to their report, Montreal police (SPVM) officers had been attempting to coax the turkey onto the sidewalk when “he suddenly ran out in the street” and was struck by a car.
The driver happened to be a Butters fan, reads the post and was “completely devastated and shattered.”
“The police officers were very kind and compassionate,” it continues. “I jumped out of my car to talk to them and the gentleman who was in the wrong place at the wrong time. He was devastated and was in tears.”
Canadian Wild Turkey Federation biologist Tadeusz Splawinski previously told MTL Blog that turkeys are especially high risk for motor vehicle accidents as they react to shiny things and their own reflections.
Numerous posts show Butters living life on the edge, playing fast and loose with his safety, running around in traffic, and ignoring police officers.
Tributes to the turkey have poured in from fans, with one writing: “Butters will be greatly missed by many. We appreciated his willingness to share of himself with us during these past difficult months.”
“Butters was my daily refuge from our lives at this moment in time,” wrote another. “He was such a regal turkey. I'm very sad to hear of his passing, I looked forward to each day of new posts of where he was on his journey. RIP Butters!”
A third said: "I'd like to take a moment to thank Butters for bringing our community together. We found joy in a common experience and shared it selflessly with each other so that we can take what we needed from his presence. I hope the spirit of sharing and caring will continue in his name.”