Cooper pardons 2 turkeys ahead of Thanksgiving

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Wednesday, November 20, 2019
Gov. Roy Cooper pardons two turkeys
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Gov. Roy Cooper pardons two turkeys

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- These birds had the Wright stuff.

Gov. Roy Cooper pardoned two turkeys, Orville and Wilbur, on Wednesday in a lighthearted ceremony at the North Carolina Executive Mansion.

"Last year set a high bar for how many Thanksgiving-related dad jokes I could make, and many folks told me I couldn't possibly top it," Cooper said. "To that, I say, 'I cran and I berry well will."

Cooper didn't mention whether Orville and Wilbur were flight risks.

The two 45-pound toms were from Toy Farms in Clinton.

On a more serious note, Cooper said, "beyond the jokes, Thanksgiving provides an opportunity to reflect on the many things we have to be thankful for - and I'm grateful to our first responders, educators, military servicemembers and dedicated public servants working every day to make North Carolina safer and more prosperous."

Gov. Roy Cooper pardons Orville and Wilbur.
Gov. Roy Cooper's Office

On Friday, 20, Cooper will join representatives from the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina and Butterball to help distribute turkeys to local agencies serving families in need.

"This pardon is a fun tradition to recognize North Carolina as the second-largest turkey-producing state, and we're proud to be a North Carolina-based company representing our turkey industry," Jay Jandrain, President and Chief Executive Officer of Butterball, said. "We'll also be donating 400 Butterball turkeys on behalf of Governor Cooper to the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina to help put a hot meal on North Carolina tables this Thanksgiving."

After the ceremony, Orville and Wilbur will retire at Naylor Family Farm in Fuquay-Varina, where they will join chickens, peacocks, goats, pigs and calves.