Every year, the president pardons one or two turkeys from being a family’s Thanksgiving feast. One turkey is actually pardoned, the other is runner-up.
While the birds may be pardoned, that doesn’t mean they get to enjoy a long life.
CNN looked into pardoned turkeys and where they go to die. Apparently they’re hauled off to Mount Vernon, George Washington’s estate, and given shelter in a small coop. But there, no other turkeys abound.
That’s because all the previous pardoned turkeys are now dead, even last year’s pardoned birds.
“All the turkeys ever pardoned at the White House are dead, including the six already given a pass from the roasting pan by President Barack Obama in previous years,” CNN writes.
Dean Norton, who is in charge of livestock at Mount Vernon, tells CNN why:
“The bird is bred for the table, not for longevity…Some of [the pardoned turkeys] have been pretty short lived.”
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