Live turkeys thrown from plane during festival in Arkansas

YELLVILLE, AR -- In a little town where there's little action, there's always that one event everyone anticipates.

"This is the biggest thing that happens in Yellville. ... It's 71 years this year," Vicki Sefter told KARK.

Crowds line the square in Yellville once a year for the annual "turkey trot" parade, but it's not the parade causing a controversy on a sunny street.

Every year, a pilot flies over the festival and drops live turkeys from a plane.

"I do believe it's inhumane," Bobby Wilson said.

"Turkey Lives Matter - that shows we're not barbaric people," Vicki Sefter said.

"I liked it. I thought it was interesting," Debra Johnson of Oxford, AR, said. "People go and chase after them."

Four turkeys were dropped on Saturday.

"Between the power lines, landing in the creek, and traffic around here - I've noticed a lot of birds just being killed," Wilson said. "People from the city who don't know just think we are crashing turkeys."

Arkansas Game and Fish Cpl. Tim Davenport says the issue is out of their hands because the turkeys are considered pets, not wild animals.

"Everybody's different. Everyone has their opinions," Davenport said. "Some people want to live one way; others want to live another."

While Sefter sells shirts, she's trying to lighten the mood in the town she's called home for three decades.

"Everyone likes the Turkey Lives Matter this year," she said. "You have more adults climbing these trees to get to these turkeys than you do the kids."

While Yellville continues to draw crowds from across the state, some just aren't happy with the results, no matter how many people come to town.

"I've seen a couple of the birds get in the power lines and get burned up by the power lines, and I've seen some of them get hit by cars," Wilson said.
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