November 21st, 2012
12:23 PM ET
10 years ago

Pardoned turkey's death untimely? Only to the naive

Washington (CNN) - Peace, one of two turkeys pardoned by President Obama last year, was euthanized Monday, according to an official who insisted the timing of the death - days before the Thanksgiving holiday - was not suspicious.

Rebecca Aloisi, vice president for marketing at the Mount Vernon Estate, confirmed that Peace had died after a weekend "illness." But Aloise knew neither the nature of the illness, the manner of death, nor what had been done with the remains of the large, edible bird.

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"I appreciate where you're going with this," Aloisi told CNN. "But I assure you that these birds are extremely well cared for." The decision to euthanize the bird was made by a veterinarian in consultation with Mount Vernon's livestock department, she said.

Peace had served as the understudy for Liberty, another turkey, at the 2011 pardoning ceremony by President Obama. Obama chose to pardon both birds to spare them from the fate of the plate.

But pressed on details about Peace's death, and what was done with the carcass, Aloisi deferred. "Honestly, I work in marketing," she said, defensively. "We have a 500-acre facility."

The facility - historic home of President George Washington - includes a landmark mansion, farm, wharf and the Mount Vernon Inn.

Asked if the inn serves turkey, Aloisi hedged. "That's a good question. I assume so," she said.

The inn, in fact, boasts of "costumed servers" who serve "delicious regional and colonial cuisine" including a "Roast Turkey Dinner" for $17.50, according to the inn's web site.

In the library, with a carving knife?

Aloisi said turkeys have short lifespans, especially those bred for eating. The timing of the death was "curious," Aloisi allowed, but not suspicious.

"I know that it was done in a humane manner but I don't know the mechanics," she said.

Mount Vernon anticipates receiving more turkeys following this year's pardoning ceremony. "We were very prepared to have all four birds live here," Aloisi said.

A broken promise?

At the Nov. 23, 2011, pardoning, President Obama said Peace was "going to retire to a life of leisure at Mount Vernon - the same place where George Washington spent his golden years."

But now Peace is dead.

And two new birds pardoned by President Obama will be put on public display until early January, and will then be retired to live out the rest of their natural lives, spared the feast.

If that's what you choose to believe.

Filed under: White House
soundoff (20 Responses)
  1. Bic Spinach

    I guess you can say

    This is untimely death

    Reeks of fowl play

    November 21, 2012 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  2. ATL Guy

    I wonder if John McCain would propose a congressional committee to investigate these disturbing events?

    November 21, 2012 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  3. Rudy NYC

    "But now Peace is dead."
    For those of you out there that believe in omen's, this is as bad as it gets.

    November 21, 2012 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  4. Geordie

    @ ATL Guy
    You need to get out and get some fresh air and stop this juvenile drivel..!!!

    November 21, 2012 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  5. Clever

    I'm sure FOX news will manage to connect the dots of this conspiracy. It all leads back to Libya!

    November 21, 2012 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  6. Hudge

    I expect Rep. Peter King will call for a full congressional inquiry, including testimony by Petraeus and Hillary Clinton.

    November 21, 2012 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  7. joe

    conspirecy conspirecy. The repos will run with this. Maybe the President brainwashed the fowl.

    November 21, 2012 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  8. Bucky

    Senator McCain would you please launch a Special Sub Committee. This spokesperson seems to be just telling suspected altered talking points from the inn. Please make sure this turkey did not meet an untimely end due to the President's health care system for avian members of the USA. God bless the senile old goat.

    November 21, 2012 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  9. tammyk tammy

    May Peace rest in peace.

    November 21, 2012 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  10. Igniz

    Really???? This is news? Really? Journalism is getting to be joke.

    November 21, 2012 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  11. jv

    Could this be Obama's Watergate?

    Republicans will demand answers......I smell special prosecutor

    November 21, 2012 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  12. Wilson

    @Rudy NYC

    "But now Peace is dead."
    For those of you out there that believe in omen's, this is as bad as it gets.
    One of the few times I have ever agreed with you.

    November 21, 2012 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  13. Hap Hazzard

    Something smells about this... and it smells suspiciously like stuffing.

    November 21, 2012 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  14. turkeyeater

    Boohoo...a turkey died, and the vice president of marketing knows no details. Quick, someone call Bill O'Reilly and have Fox launch an investigation. Get a life, and write something more meaningful.

    November 21, 2012 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  15. EPUnum1

    Peace out.

    November 21, 2012 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  16. mister b

    Are you guys serious? You can call me naive if you want but if you believe they deliberately killed this turkey on a specific day to send a message, you are an idiot!

    November 21, 2012 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  17. jd

    lol @ Rudy... Peace is dead indeed, and Liberty is likely next.

    November 21, 2012 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  18. suznaz

    Wow. Really? With all that's going on in the world and with tomorrow supposed to be a day for gratitude, you waste pixels on some fictitious conspiracy to kill a turkey. Guess there's a faction who will take this as further evidence of the latest vast left wing conspiracy but geesh, you can and should strive for a higher level of discourse.

    November 21, 2012 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  19. Russellohh

    "Obama announces Peace is dead" as a headline might have given this article 50,000,000 views in an hour.

    November 21, 2012 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  20. somebody

    @Bic Spinach
    Reeks of fowl play

    lol. Great post. Made my day.

    Finally the GOP and Faux News may have found a conspiracy that sticks. BTW, it's not a witch hunt. It's a turkey shoot.

    November 21, 2012 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |