Butters, the celebrity wild turkey in Montreal, has died after being struck by a car
MONTREAL -- Butters, the celebrity wild turkey that delighted residents of Montreal's NDG borough with his brazen presence, has died after being struck by a car Thursday night.
A post on the Butters NDG fan page Thursday night reported that the beloved turkey that was spotted throughout the borough was no more.
"I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but our beloved Butters' life has been cut short," reads a post on the page. "I witnessed his demise on the corner of Westminster and Cote-Saint-Luc Road about 20 minutes ago."
A photo on the page shows Montreal police (SPVM) officers taking the bird's carcass away under a metallic blanket.
"Butters brought us some fun in these dark days," wrote one fan of the turkey whose fame rose throughout the pandemic, as many were stuck at home looking out their windows.
"You brought us happiness, surprise and joy, as well a sense of community in an otherwise dark and lonely time," wrote another.
NDG borough Mayor Sue Montgomery explained where the turkey's name came from.
"They named him Butters because NDG Living would always post when butter was on sale and in which stores," she told CTV News. "There was a huge debate over whether he should be rescued and taken out of the hood and brought to the countryside or some kind of animal sanctuary because people predicted he would be hit by a car."
Many videos showed Butters strutting in and out of traffic and police officers moving him off the street.
"So now, with his death, people are mourning the loss of what had become our neighbourhood mascot," said Montgomery. "He will be missed. My heartfelt condolences to Butters' family and friends."
In addition to a Facebook fan page, an online map tracked his sightings throughout the west end for the past two years, while he developed a fanbase.
Butters is one of several celebrity turkeys in Montreal including Keveune, Verdun's turkey, who also has a fan page.
Custom Butters teeshirts and hoodies are available for purchase on his fan page, and several posts suggest something be done in commemoration.
"Someone please make a Butters statue and set it facing east," reads a post hoping someone will commemorate his legacy.
"We may have to name a park after him," said Montgomery. "Or rename the borough Notre Dinde de Grace."
Multiple posts on the page lend their sympathy to the driver of the car that hit the bird acknowledging that Butters' death was an unfortunate accident.
"It isn't your fault," wrote Butters fan Alena Mondok. "Accidents happen and I really hope you are doing okay. Sending virtual hugs, this can not be easy."