Smoke the turkey is gaining international fame

Smoke the turkey Tuesday, November 20, 2018 (WLUK/Pafoua Yang){ }

ASHWAUBENON (WLUK) -- He's no stranger lurking around the Village of Ashwaubenon. In fact, he's even referred as the Mayor.

While some call him "Smoke," others call him Tom."

"Our Tommy Boy started showing up last spring; we think he got separated from his flock and is just a lone bachelor," explained Julie Sevenich.

Sevenich works in the building on Hazelwood and Shady Lanes, near Cabela's. It's where the turkey likes to hang out.

"We've had people looking in the windows which is a little bit strange," said Sevenich. "We just kindly ask people not to chase him because that makes him more afraid."

Animal experts say turkeys are generally reclusive but that could change when they discover bird feeders.

"They lose some of that need to stay invisible, they become habituated," explained Carmen Murach, the curator of animal at the NEW Zoo.

Murach said if you don't want turkeys nearby, then restrict access to food. If you get in contact with one, she said, "your best bet is to stand the ground, if you run, they will definitely chase."

From diverting traffic, dodging cops and gobbling berries from local gardens, Smoke's now a global celebrity.

"He kind of brought together a community," said Addie Sorbo, a Smoke fan. "He's been picked up in articles in Germany, United Kingdom, Iceland has the most for any of the countries."

Sorbo is selling t-shirts and banners to other fans. She said funds will go toward an organization called Happily Ever After.

"They are a no-kill shelter here in Ashwaubenon and their mission is to provide loving home to every companion animal," explained Sorbo.

And while some have complained about Smoke's antics, many seem to enjoy his presence.

"It’s been a happy, positive, pleasant thing to talk about," Sevenich said.