CHESTERTOWN, Md. (CNN) – In rural Chestertown, neighbors are few and far between. Nature surrounds you and you own a pet turkey.
“I’ve always been into birds and rescuing birds. I’ve always heard turkeys are very friendly,” Maddy Eckel, owner of a turkey named Scout, said.
For the past year and a half, Eckel has raised Scout from the time he was a hatchling. By breed, he was only expected to live about eight months, but Scout is not your average gobbler.
“I got a lot of flack about it. We were able to take a lot of selfies together and I could pet him. It was just like any other pet.”
That bond is shared with the chickens, hens, and ducks she owns too, but the family of fowls is suddenly smaller as Eckel deals with the mystery of why.
“Feathers [were found] all around on the ground. Even in all that wind, they never blew away so it was obvious there was some kind of struggle.”
Without warning and no noise, Scout was gone.
A friend’s tracking dog was brought in and managed to follow his scent into the woods before it ran cold.
“My gut tells me someone stole him because it was the holiday. I don’t have a lot of good faith that he may still be alive, but for my peace of mind to know what happened to him would be great.”
At her table, this Thanksgiving is a friend short.