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Wild turkey joins funeral procession at Arlington National Cemetery

A wild turkey has picked up a new hobby by quietly joining funeral processions at the Arlington National Cemetery.

WASHINGTON — We've heard a lot about turkey attacks in the D.C. area recently, but one wild turkey in Arlington appears to be paying respects to Americans who've served their country.

Arlington National Cemetery (ANC), where many great service members and their families are buried, is also home to an abundance of wildlife including deer, squirrels, coyotes, chipmunks, snakes, foxes and a variety of birds.

ANC wrote in a Facebook post Thursday that one female turkey has started following funeral processions. 

"Recently, one of our turkeys, who resides mainly within our conservation area, has been spotted following funeral processions, paying respects at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, and generally lounging in the sun throughout the cemetery," the post says. 

Credit: Ashley Wright/U.S. Army
Female turkey tags along U.S. Army funeral procession at Arlington National Cemetery.

The post includes a U.S. Army photo taken by Ashley Wright that appears to show a turkey following an Army funeral procession. 

ANC said the turkey in the photo is a female. The turkey and her male counterpart have been on wildlife cameras within the cemetery's conservation area. 

Word of this apparently respectful turkey comes after D.C. residents in the Southeast neighborhood were recently warned by officials about an aggressive turkey on the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail who had attacked passersby. 

The D.C. Department of Energy and Environment explained that the rise in attacks is likely because it's breeding season.

Though it may be a bit startling to spot a wild turkey, visitors to the historic military cemetery are urged to be mindful and respectful to animals that consider ANC's 639 acres their home. 

RELATED: BEWARE: An 'aggressive' wild turkey is attacking people on Anacostia Riverwalk Trail in DC

RELATED: 'Aggressive' horse moved off Assateague Island, sent to Texas wildlife sanctuary

RELATED: Fox trapped, reportedly euthanized for possibly killing 25 flamingos, 1 duck at National Zoo


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