The saga of Tammy the Turnpike Turkey may have a romantic epilogue.
Finally captured today at Exit 14B on the New Jersey Turnpike, Tammy likely will be pleased with her new home at the Popcorn Park Zoo in Lacy Township, New Jersey.
"A tom turkey we've named 'Gobbler' will be waiting for her," said Popcorn Park General Manager John Bergmann.
That happy ending is a long way from the place Tammy had called home since this past summer: Exit 14B on the New Jersey Turnpike.
That's because Wednesday morning, Tammy, who had always managed to give Turnpike authorities the slip, met her match with NJ Fish and Wildlife Agents.
A "routine operation" is how Agent Tony McBride described the operation using a gun-powered net to snare the bird.
Tammy became a media star of sorts last week when the Turnpike Authority was formally notified of her residence at the Jersey City exit. Their concern was that when she was crossing the road to get to the other side (the Authority is not sure why she was crossing the road), cars, trucks and buses would often have to slam on their brakes to avoid hitting her.
"She's learned how to navigate traffic," said Bob Erikson of the National Wild Turkey Federation. But he quickly added that she has become a safety issue to motorists trying to avoid her.
The hunt for Tammy took longer than expected as Tammy stayed in a grove of trees or flew past agents despite repeated efforts to bait her with food.
Finally, when she emerged from the woods, the gun was fired, the net flew over her head and Tammy was headed to her new home.
"She should consider herself lucky she ended up at the Turnpike where people recognize that a week before Thanksgiving there's only one way for this to end well," said Turnpike spokesman Joe Orlando.