Local restaurant brings new meaning to “free-range turkey” on Thanksgiving

KOLD News 10-10:30 p.m. recurring
Published: Nov. 24, 2022 at 10:22 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - It’s a non-traditional Thanksgiving for a local restaurant in Tucson! Govinda’s has been hosting a unique holiday celebration for the last 20 years.

Rather than having the turkey on the plates, he was roaming around the restaurant! His name is Mukti, and he was the guest of honor during Thursday’s Thanksgiving feast.

Owner Sandamini Cooksey said she’s been welcoming a turkey into her restaurant for the past 20 years. “A lot of people have never even seen a turkey up close. So, they see that they are very gentle and sweet. They are happy to interact with them,” she said.

Sometimes the turkeys are energetic. But, Mutki just wanted a good turkey nap after dinner like the rest of us. After the festivities Mukti will go back to his home on the farm. From there he will live out his life, and maybe even be back next year.

Cooksey said more people have joined in on the tradition every year as more switch to a meatless lifestyle. She said the tradition is “getting more and more busy. More and more people are turning to a healthier lifestyle. Either their doctors tell them or different reasons that they want to be a vegetarian.”

If you missed out on the fun today with Mukti. The holiday tradition will also extend to both Christmas and New Years.