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My Life as a Turkey

Mon, 11/19/2012 - 2:54pm -- WCVE

Based on the true story of writer and naturalist Joe Hutto, portrayed by wildlife photographer Jeff Palmer, Nature: My Life as a Turkey chronicles Hutto’s remarkable experience of imprinting wild turkey eggs and raising the hatchlings to adulthood.

After a local farmer left a bowl of eggs on Joe Hutto’s front porch, his life was forever changed. Hutto, possessing a broad background in the natural sciences and an interest in imprinting young animals, incubated the eggs and waited for them to hatch. As the chicks emerged from their shells, they locked eyes with an unusual but dedicated mother.

Deep in the wilds of Florida’s Flatlands, Hutto spent each day living as a turkey mother, taking on the full-time job of raising sixteen turkey chicks. Hutto dutifully cared for his family around the clock, roosting with them, taking them foraging, and immersing himself in their world. In the process, they revealed their charming curiosity and surprising intellect. There was little he could teach them that they did not already know, but he showed them the lay of the land and protected them from the dangers of the forest as best he could. In return, they taught him how to see the world through their eyes.

Watch Nature: My Life as a Turkey November 21 at 8:00 p.m. on WCVE PBS/WHTJ PBS