Sioux Falls Zoologists

"Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent!"

The mirror test is an experiment developed in 1970 by psychologist Gordon Gallup Jr. to determine whether an animal possesses the ability to recognize itself in a mirror. It is the primary indicator of self-awareness in non-human animals and marks entrance to the mirror stage by human children in developmental psychology. Animals that pass the mirror test are: Humans older than 18 mo, Chimpanzees, Bonobos, Orangutans, Gorillas, Bottlenose Dolphins, Orcas (Killer Whales), Elephants, and European Magpies. Others showing signs of self-awareness are Pigs, some Gibbons, Rhesus Macaques, Capuchin Monkeys, some Corvids (Crows & Ravens) and Pigeons w/training. (Sorry Kitty!)

Sioux Falls Zoologists endorse My Life as a Turkey for showing how
even turkeys have a culture humans can relate to and appreciate.

My Life as a Turkey

My Life as a Turkey (2011) - 60 minutes
My Life as a Turkey at Amazon.com

Based on a true story, this beautiful, charming, funny, sad, and thought-provoking film explores one of those rare moments when man and animal unwittingly become more closely linked than nature normally allows.

Deep in the wilds of Florida, Joe Hutto, wildlife artist and naturalist, was presented with a rare opportunity. It had long been his hope to learn about the secret world of wild turkeys by having young turkey poults imprint on him, but obtaining wild turkey eggs or young poults had proven to be next to impossible; so when he arrived home one day to find a bowl filled with wild turkey eggs on his doorstep, he went out immediately to obtain an incubator, determined to become their mother. It was an experience that would change his life in ways he could never have imagined. He began speaking with them even before they hatched, and bonded with them in their first moments. Then day after day, for over a year, he lived as a turkey mother, taking on the full-time job of raising 16 turkey chicks. It was a role he would learn from scratch and leave him caught up in wonder. The level of awareness and sensitivity of his young family to the world around them simply transcended anything he had experienced before. He learned their language and their ways, and in time, he became about as close to being a turkey in human skin as nature permits. Eventually, his children grew up, and Hutto had to let them go off on their own. It was harder than he ever imagined.

The journal Hutto kept of his life as a turkey ultimately became a book, entitled "Illumination in the Flatwoods." His story is reenacted in this film in full, as he lived it.

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My Life as a Turkey

Sioux Falls Zoologists endorse My Life as a Turkey for showing how
even turkeys have a culture humans can relate to and appreciate.