Wild turkey that survived arrow to the chest is returned to the wild

Archer lived for weeks with arrow wound

RAMONA, Calif. - A turkey who survived after being shot by an arrow was returned to the Ramona wild Thursday night.

The turkey, named Archer, was released by workers with the Ramona-based nonprofit Emergency Animal Rescue.

10News visited Archer in his pen Thursday before he was released. The turkey was pacing back and forth and trying to fly.

"That's an absolute good sign. It means he's ready to go back to his flock," said Emergency Animal Rescue volunteer Kevin Epps.

Authorities said someone shot the wild turkey earlier this year. The arrow entered in the turkey's lower back and came out of its chest. Archer walked around with the arrow stuck in him for several months.

San Diego Country Estates residents contacted 10News after attempts to capture the wounded bird failed. He was finally caught by state Fish and Game officials and taken to the Acacia Animal Health Center, where the arrow was removed free of charge.

After a week of post-op care, Archer was handed over to the Emergency Animal Rescue for beefing up.

"Corn, birdseed, berries, broccoli, and zucchini," said Epps.

Archer will need the strength and his wild friends. If the flock doesn't welcome him back, Epps said there's a chance Archer won't survive.

"There's always that possibility. He'd already been rejected by that flock when he had the arrow. We often found him away from the flock," said Epps.

San Diego Country Estates residents will be tasked with keeping an eye on Archer to make sure he is OK.

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