The Safest Place for a Turkey This Thanksgiving Is at the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Prospect Park Zoo

Julie Larsen Maher ©WCS

Brooklyn, N.Y. – November 26, 2013 -- ATTACHED PHOTO: Just days before Thanksgiving, Franklin the turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) happily struts at the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Prospect Park Zoo, where he lives with several female companions.

The wild turkey is an American bird, originally brought to Europe in the early 16th century by Spanish conquistadors. The species was transported to England and throughout northern Europe. The English then brought the domestic turkeys back with them when they settled the colonies.In 1776, in search of a national bird, Benjamin Franklin nominated the wild turkey as our national symbol.

Franklin will be trotting around the barn area on Thanksgiving Day and throughout the season. In the field, the Wildlife Conservation Society is monitoring the abundance of ocellated turkeys, a close cousin of the wild turkey, in the Maya Biosphere Reserve, Guatemala.

Barbara Russo – 718-265-3428;
Max Pulsinelli – 718-220-5182;

The Wildlife Conservation Society’s Prospect Park Zoo – $8.00 for adults, $6 for seniors 65 and older, $5 for kids 3-12, free for children under 3. Zoo hours are 10 A.M. to 5 P.M. weekdays, and to 5:30 P.M. on weekends and holidays, April through October. 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. November through March. The Prospect Park Zoo is located at 450 Flatbush Avenue in Prospect Park, Brooklyn. For further information, call 718-399-7339 or visit

The Wildlife Conservation Society saves wildlife and wild places worldwide. We do so through science, global conservation, education and the management of the world’s largest system of urban wildlife parks, led by the flagship Bronx Zoo. Together these activities change attitudes towards nature and help people imagine wildlife and humans living in harmony. WCS is committed to this mission because it is essential to the integrity of life on Earth.

Special Note to the Media: If you would like to guide your readers or viewers to a Web link where they can make donations in support of helping save wildlife and wild places, please direct them to

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