Tina the Turkey dead after getting hit by vehicle in south Columbia

6 months 1 week 3 days ago Friday, July 13 2018 Jul 13, 2018 Friday, July 13, 2018 9:06:00 AM CDT July 13, 2018 in Top Stories
By: Stephanie Sandoval, KOMU 8 Reporter and Steve Lambson, News Content Manager
loading

COLUMBIA - The turkey which captured a lot of attention - and created some frustration - in a south Columbia neighborhood died Friday. People held a vigil as a way to remember Tina for everything he has done for the community. 

According to the Missouri Department of Conservation, Tina the Turkey was hit by a vehicle Friday morning. Social media posts suggest Tina's body had been removed by 9 a.m.

Tina - who was a male, despite the traditionally female name - first came to people's notice when he was seen wandering around Chapel Hill Road and Forum Boulevard in early 2018. He was known to chase down cars and show up uninvited on people's porches.

At one point, Tina's traffic disruptions led conservation officials to consider relocating him. Some in the community resisted the idea, saying they'd gotten used to Tina's presence and worrying he might end up in the sights of a hunter.

A Facebook page dedicated to Tina posted the following message Friday morning:

"It is with broken hearts that we announce the passing of Tina the Turkey. Tina was hit and killed by a vehicle along Chapel Hill this morning and this was confirmed by a personal phone call from the Missouri Department of Conservation. Tina, you brought a lot of joy to those that got to witness your daily antics and silly personality. We are so sorry your environment turned out to be too urban for you. The Department of Conservation and us so badly wish you could have lived your life out in peace outside of the city limits. You will be missed and our drives down Chapel Hill and Forum won’t quite be the same. RIP Tina!"

After hearing the news, members of the community hosted a vigil for Tina. Dozens of people showed up at the intersection of Forum Boulevard and Chapel Hill. Multiple people shared their own personal stories about Tina. They talked about what they loved most and what they’re going to miss the most about him. 

A U.S. Navy diver even came all the way from Japan just to see Tina after his friend, Jake Walthall, who is also in the Navy told him about Tina the turkey. Katsuyoshi Ichinose said he saw Tina just a day ago. 

“I never see a turkey in Japan,” Ichinose said. “But I saw him yesterday, so I was so excited to see so I took a picture of him but he passed away today so kind of sad.” 

"It was very heartbreaking to find out the next day Tina passed away," Walthall said.  

One person said even though he never got to see Tina in real life, him and his fiancé still kept up with Tina every day on Facebook.

“The turkey brought joy and happiness so we could laugh,” Elbert Pollion said. "It brought laughter. In a world like this, we need to laugh.” 

A group of friends organized the vigil. Audrey Cantu, one of the organizers, said a lot more people came than what she expected. 

“I really had no idea so many people would come or that people would be as emotional as they were,” Cantu said. “I’m really glad I did it because I got to see how much Tina affected each of them and that they all got to make those friendships and bonds with one another for Tina’s sake. It just meant a lot to me that Tina affected more than just me.” 

Billy Ellison and Mark Boyd also helped organize the vigil. Ellison said Tina brought happiness to the community. 

“There’s women crying, like I enjoy Tina but this bird touched their lives," Ellison said. "It’s crazy that a turkey, of all things, would have that effect.” 

Cantu said Tina has been a positive mascot for the community. 

"I think it's really important that we pay our respects to that and just the positivity and happiness and joy he brought to everyone," Cantu said. 

(This article has been edited to include additional information.) 

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - One person was detained in connection to a threat made at the Midway Travel Plaza on Highway 40,... More >>
8 hours ago Monday, January 21 2019 Jan 21, 2019 Monday, January 21, 2019 11:58:00 PM CST January 21, 2019 in News
SUNRISE BEACH - One person died at a high rise at the Lake of the Ozarks Monday morning according to... More >>
9 hours ago Monday, January 21 2019 Jan 21, 2019 Monday, January 21, 2019 11:27:00 PM CST January 21, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - With just over two months left before the April 2 Municipal Election, mayoral candidate Chris Kelly is calling... More >>
15 hours ago Monday, January 21 2019 Jan 21, 2019 Monday, January 21, 2019 5:30:00 PM CST January 21, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - With over 500 districts across the country switching to four day school weeks, there has been an increase... More >>
15 hours ago Monday, January 21 2019 Jan 21, 2019 Monday, January 21, 2019 5:29:00 PM CST January 21, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Back in November, Missourians voted to pass Proposition B, which would increase the minimum wage over the next... More >>
15 hours ago Monday, January 21 2019 Jan 21, 2019 Monday, January 21, 2019 5:21:00 PM CST January 21, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Organizers with the MLK Commission gathered Monday to reflect on the teachings of Martin Luther King Jr. and... More >>
16 hours ago Monday, January 21 2019 Jan 21, 2019 Monday, January 21, 2019 4:14:00 PM CST January 21, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - An announcement on who will serve as the city's interim police chief should come around Feb. 1, Interim... More >>
17 hours ago Monday, January 21 2019 Jan 21, 2019 Monday, January 21, 2019 3:05:00 PM CST January 21, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Several local businesses are servicing federal employees who are being directly impacted by the partial government shutdown. Lizzi... More >>
18 hours ago Monday, January 21 2019 Jan 21, 2019 Monday, January 21, 2019 2:25:00 PM CST January 21, 2019 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Recreational use of marijuana is illegal in Missouri, but for about one-third of the state's residents,... More >>
22 hours ago Monday, January 21 2019 Jan 21, 2019 Monday, January 21, 2019 10:24:00 AM CST January 21, 2019 in News
WASHINGTON (AP) — Kamala Harris, a first-term senator and former California attorney general known for her rigorous questioning of President... More >>
1 day ago Monday, January 21 2019 Jan 21, 2019 Monday, January 21, 2019 7:39:00 AM CST January 21, 2019 in News
HOLTS SUMMIT - Firefighter are calling the Evergreen Condos a "total loss" after a fire early Monday morning. According... More >>
1 day ago Monday, January 21 2019 Jan 21, 2019 Monday, January 21, 2019 6:56:00 AM CST January 21, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Fire Department is working to put out a fire on Fyfer Place. Crews responded to... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, January 20 2019 Jan 20, 2019 Sunday, January 20, 2019 3:43:00 PM CST January 20, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - The Broadway Diner is eliminating its late night service in an effort to keep a "family friendly" atmosphere.... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, January 20 2019 Jan 20, 2019 Sunday, January 20, 2019 2:28:00 PM CST January 20, 2019 in News
CHICAGO (AP) — Activists and others who were disappointed by the outcome of two historic cases involving the killing... More >>
2 days ago Sunday, January 20 2019 Jan 20, 2019 Sunday, January 20, 2019 7:23:00 AM CST January 20, 2019 in News
FULTON - The McDonald's on Business 54 was evacuated Saturday evening after a man threatened to shoot everyone, police said.... More >>
2 days ago Sunday, January 20 2019 Jan 20, 2019 Sunday, January 20, 2019 12:29:00 AM CST January 20, 2019 in News
HOLTS SUMMIT - The weather conditions on Saturday made it difficult to put out a two-story house fire, firefighters said.... More >>
2 days ago Saturday, January 19 2019 Jan 19, 2019 Saturday, January 19, 2019 11:10:00 PM CST January 19, 2019 in News
BOONE COUNTY - Firefighters say no one was injured after a house fire Saturday evening on North Jennings Road near... More >>
2 days ago Saturday, January 19 2019 Jan 19, 2019 Saturday, January 19, 2019 10:59:00 PM CST January 19, 2019 in News
MOBERLY - The Moberly Police Department is investigating a potential threat to Moberly Middle School. In a post on... More >>
2 days ago Saturday, January 19 2019 Jan 19, 2019 Saturday, January 19, 2019 8:00:00 PM CST January 19, 2019 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 35°
9am 38°
10am 40°
11am 41°
12pm 42°