Ypsilanti mourns loss of 'Whittaker the rogue turkey'

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A wild turkey turns into the talk of the town in Ypsilanti tying up traffic by making a busy intersection his home.

He captivated the community for six months until he was hit by a car last week. Now his fans are mourning the loss with several Facebook pages and even a memorial.

"His presence could be expected on a daily basis," said Dr. Abigail Wuerth. "That really brought the community together."

Whittaker is a turkey and his or her home was in Ypsilanti Township on Textile and Whittaker Road.

"Sometimes (his home) was the left turn lane, sometimes (he was) chasing down joggers," Wuerth said.

"Kids loved him," said Jerry Lamkin. "He would come up to your car if you called him."

And it seems that everyone in the area has a Whittaker story.

"She kept going around cars," Beth Bruner said. "Everybody's honking, laughing, and cheering me on but she kept going around the car, letting me chase you trying to get her out of the road."

And that went on her for about six months.

"He made many more months without getting hit than we predicted," Bruner said. "She was hit by a car, the lady we believe stayed, called The Humane Society for help, other people called as well. They came out within an hour and picked her up."

Whittaker was badly injured and had to be euthanized. But then the community came together. A memorial sprung up including stuffed turkeys, drawings of Whittaker by little kids. She even has her own Facebook page fan group with thousands of followers.

FOX 2: "What are you going to miss about Whittaker?"

"Her chaos," Bruner said.

There is even a sign in front of the Whittaker Road Animal Clinic. But not everyone will miss "Whitt."

"A turkey, with so much going on in the world?" said Peter Brown. "Come on."

FOX 2: "Some people miss this turkey, they liked Whittaker."

"People like Thanksgiving too," Brown said.

Whittaker's ashes will be preserved, a brick will be placed in front of the Humane Society and the town is thinking of doing a turkey trot in his honor.

"A beautiful bird," said Bruner. "She just thought she ruled the roost down there at Whittaker and Textile."