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Pardoned turkey dies before Thanksgiving

Nov. 23, 2012 at 3:58 PM
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ALEXANDRIA, Va., Nov. 23 (UPI) -- A turkey pardoned by President Barack Obama at Thanksgiving 2011 was put down three days prior to this year's holiday, Virginia's Mount Vernon Estate said.

The estate, where pardoned turkeys are taken to live out their lives, said Peace, the understudy for 2011's turkey, Liberty, was put down Monday after suffering an illness during the weekend, The Independent reported Friday.

The newspaper said news of the bird's demise has "conspiracy theorists all aflutter" but Rebbecca Aloisi, vice president for marketing at the Mount Vernon Estate, said there was no conspiracy to have the pardoned turkey end up as part of a Thanksgiving dinner.

"I know that it was done in a humane manner but I don't know the mechanics," she said. "I appreciate where you're going with this, but I assure you that these birds are extremely well cared for."

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