Friday, November 26, 2010

Santa Ana Zoo New Home to White House "Unpardoned" Turkeys

If you want a pardon from the president, you need to be on your best behavior.

The same goes for turkeys.
Foster Farms is raising the bird that will be "pardoned" by President Barack Obama this year in a Thanksgiving tradition dating to 1989.   Two birds are chosen — the presidential turkey and the vice presidential turkey, the latter stepping in if the top gobbler cannot fulfill its duties.

These turkeys will come from Foster Farms near Modesto, Ca., and this is only the second time a west coast grower has had this honor since this White House tradition began in 1947.  Originally, the turkeys were eaten but, in 1989, President George H. W. Bush began the pardon tradition.

Initially, 25 birds are chosen for this honor, but only 2 are selected to go to Washington.  The others need to find homes or they, too, will be eaten.

The Santa Ana Zoo at Prentice Park has stepped up to be the new home for 2 of these unpardoned Tom Turkeys.

The turkeys will arrive in a couple of weeks, and will spend a short time in the AZA required quarantine before moving to their new home in the Crean Family Farm at the Zoo.
We are excited that we were able to rescue these turkeys, and look forward to giving them a good place to live.

The turkeys join several other animals living at the Zoo that have been rescued and now have a second chance at a happy, healthy life.

The full press release is below:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - November 24, 2010

Contact: Cathi Decker
FOSAZ Executive Director
(714)953-8555 x11


The Santa Ana Zoo in Prentice Park is pleased to announce the pending arrival of two unpardoned Presidential Turkeys raised by Foster Farms. These two lucky fellows not only escaped a “delicious fate” of not being chosen as official turkeys selected to be pardoned by the President, but also escaped becoming your turkey dinner.

Each year at Thanksgiving, the President of the United States pardons two National Thanksgiving Turkeys during an official White House Ceremony. This ceremony signals the beginning of the holiday season.

Our very own local Santa Ana Zoo decided to pardon two of the unpardoned turkeys and give them new life in our Crean Family Farm. Several other fortunate birds went to the Happy Hollow Zoo in San Jose and Big Thunder Ranch at Disneyland.

These two lucky turkeys will soon make their debut at the Zoo and join our other Farm animals in the Crean Family Farm, an interactive area for children to play and learn about farm life. They will be fed corn and soy and live in comfort for the rest of their lives. You can come and visit these two “timely toms” during Zoo operating hours and celebrate their death-cheating ways.

The Zoo is open daily from 10:00am-4:00pm. Maps and general admission information are available on the Zoo’s website at If you would like to become a member of the Zoo, please call (714) 953-8555 x13.



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