Tina the turkey wanders a Columbia neighborhood, earning fans

2 years 2 months 1 week ago Monday, March 26 2018 Mar 26, 2018 Monday, March 26, 2018 7:23:00 AM CDT March 26, 2018 in News
By: Tyler Emery and Stephanie Sandoval, KOMU 8 Reporters
loading

COLUMBIA — If you’ve driven around town lately, you might’ve seen “Tina” wandering the streets.

The turkey, which hangs around the Forum Boulevard/Chapel Hill Road area, is growing in popularity as he makes appearances near streets, neighborhoods or even businesses in West Columbia. (Yes, Tina is a he - explanation below).

Robyn McCullem first noticed Tina at her parent’s house on Hulen Lake when her son pointed to the turkey wandering the backyard. From there, she got a wild idea to give Tina a Facebook page.

“I guess I was probably feeling a little bit crazy that day and thought ‘I’m just going to make a Facebook page for this turkey. Why not?' And it just, you know, spiraled from there,” McCullem said.

She and her best friend, Lacy Priesmeyer, both manage Tina’s Facebook page, which has more than 2,000 likes and follows, as well as a Tina Facebook group, which has more than 700 members.

“We didn’t want to be the face of Tina. Tina’s his own turkey and we just wanted to make sure that he got the recognition that he needed because he’s so rare,” Priesmeyer said.

As people learn about Tina through Facebook or run into him in person, many have wondered how he got his name.

“Tina was named by a group of Veteran United employees and I think they thought Tina was a hen turkey at the time not a jake, which is a juvenile turkey,” McCullem said. “So the name just kind of stuck. We never really thought to change it to anything else."

Whether a hen or jake, Tina is still chasing cars down the street and showing up on people’s doorsteps - uninvited.

Janice Downes, who works at Senior Marketing Specialists, couldn’t believe her eyes when she first saw Tina out the window at work. But now, she sees Tina almost every morning.

“I love when he gobbles and then you open the window and he’s right there,” Downes said. “It’s something to look forward to. You just don’t know when he’s going to show up.”

Tina has even been found to stop traffic by strolling in the middle of the road or chasing cars as they pass. But it’s these incidents that cause McCullem and Priesmeyer to say they worry about Tina’s safety.

“I think that’s one of our next steps officially, is to talk to the city and potentially get some signs for both Forum and Chapel Hill because it is a safety risk for both the turkey as well as drivers,” McCullem said.

They encourage anyone wanting to take pictures of Tina, to have a passenger do it, or pull over first.

For anyone who just wants to support Tina from afar, McCullem and Priesmeyer have also been selling Tina t-shirts, which Priesmeyer designed. The shirts cost $12 each and $5 of each shirt sold is donated to The Food Bank for Central and Northeast Missouri. The two women have sold more than 70 shirts so far on Ultramaxtees.com

“The food bank is something that everyone can rally around,” McCullem said. “If we’re going to exploit this bird, it was going to be for a good cause.”

As Tina becomes a local celebrity, McCullem and Priesmeyer believe he can also be a way to bring joy to everyday life.

“Everybody loves Tina. It’s an amazing thing that a turkey can bring the community so close together,” Priesmeyer said.

McCullem agrees.

“I think that that’s something to celebrate and something to keep going because the world needs better things like that right now," she said. 

More News

Grid
List
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Prosecutors are charging a Minneapolis police officer accused of pressing his knee against George Floyd’s neck with... More >>
1 minute ago Wednesday, June 03 2020 Jun 3, 2020 Wednesday, June 03, 2020 1:44:09 PM CDT June 03, 2020 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A retired police captain who died during a night of violent protests was trying to protect... More >>
1 hour ago Wednesday, June 03 2020 Jun 3, 2020 Wednesday, June 03, 2020 12:38:00 PM CDT June 03, 2020 in News
ST. LOUIS - According to a tweet posted Tuesday night on the Missouri State Highway Patrol's Twitter, a bullet pierced... More >>
4 hours ago Wednesday, June 03 2020 Jun 3, 2020 Wednesday, June 03, 2020 9:09:00 AM CDT June 03, 2020 in News
COLE COUNTY - The Cole County Crisis Negotiation Team and SWAT took one subject into custody after a barricade in... More >>
7 hours ago Wednesday, June 03 2020 Jun 3, 2020 Wednesday, June 03, 2020 6:10:00 AM CDT June 03, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Tuesday was the rescheduled municipal election from April. The election was initially postponed due to Coronavirus concerns. ... More >>
15 hours ago Tuesday, June 02 2020 Jun 2, 2020 Tuesday, June 02, 2020 10:25:00 PM CDT June 02, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (St. Louis Post-Dispatch) — The Missouri Supreme Court has overturned the conviction of a man imprisoned in a... More >>
15 hours ago Tuesday, June 02 2020 Jun 2, 2020 Tuesday, June 02, 2020 10:18:01 PM CDT June 02, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A 20-year-old Jefferson City man was arrested on suspicion of two different sodomy charges. The Fulton... More >>
15 hours ago Tuesday, June 02 2020 Jun 2, 2020 Tuesday, June 02, 2020 10:05:00 PM CDT June 02, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - A 25-year-old woman is sharing her story after she was hit by a car Monday during a protest... More >>
16 hours ago Tuesday, June 02 2020 Jun 2, 2020 Tuesday, June 02, 2020 9:44:00 PM CDT June 02, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Protests continued along Broadway in downtown Columbia Tuesday night. During the protest, Columbia police officers took a... More >>
16 hours ago Tuesday, June 02 2020 Jun 2, 2020 Tuesday, June 02, 2020 9:34:00 PM CDT June 02, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — A Missouri judge has dismissed two lawsuits against a ballot proposal to expand Medicaid health care... More >>
16 hours ago Tuesday, June 02 2020 Jun 2, 2020 Tuesday, June 02, 2020 8:51:39 PM CDT June 02, 2020 in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — A coronavirus outbreak at a Kansas City paper plant has infected more than 200 people. ... More >>
16 hours ago Tuesday, June 02 2020 Jun 2, 2020 Tuesday, June 02, 2020 8:45:51 PM CDT June 02, 2020 in News
FORT LEONARD WOOD - A Department of Army civilian died at Fort Leonard Wood following a crane incident around 2... More >>
18 hours ago Tuesday, June 02 2020 Jun 2, 2020 Tuesday, June 02, 2020 7:30:02 PM CDT June 02, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Gov. Mike Parson announced Monday he is withholding $131 million from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education... More >>
18 hours ago Tuesday, June 02 2020 Jun 2, 2020 Tuesday, June 02, 2020 7:30:00 PM CDT June 02, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - After several days of protests around the state of Missouri, Columbia Police Chief Geoff Jones released a statement... More >>
18 hours ago Tuesday, June 02 2020 Jun 2, 2020 Tuesday, June 02, 2020 6:59:00 PM CDT June 02, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA – Boone County elections are being held today, and they look a little different than normal. COVID-19 precautions,... More >>
19 hours ago Tuesday, June 02 2020 Jun 2, 2020 Tuesday, June 02, 2020 6:12:00 PM CDT June 02, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Around 10:50 p.m. the Columbia Police Department tweeted and said Daniel Wood had been located. @ColumbiaPD... More >>
22 hours ago Tuesday, June 02 2020 Jun 2, 2020 Tuesday, June 02, 2020 2:52:00 PM CDT June 02, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA — As state and commercial testing is more available for the Missourians, the number of confirmed cases is rising.... More >>
23 hours ago Tuesday, June 02 2020 Jun 2, 2020 Tuesday, June 02, 2020 2:00:00 PM CDT June 02, 2020 in News
ST. LOUIS — The City of St. Louis is under a curfew starting Tuesday at 9 p.m. ... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, June 02 2020 Jun 2, 2020 Tuesday, June 02, 2020 12:46:00 PM CDT June 02, 2020 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 87°
2pm 89°
3pm 90°
4pm 89°
5pm 87°