Turkey #14486 will live to see Thanksgiving, thanks to a pardon from Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton.

Of course, the day after Thanksgiving, all bets are off.

Tuesday's gubernatorial turkey pardon was really more of a temporary stay of excecution, noted the turkey producers who joined the governor at a table covered with boulder-sized frozen turkeys and a small mountain of turkey products. The nameless tom turkey watched warily from his cage in the corner.

"How's the cage holding up?" Dayton asked as the press conference began, mindful of the Turkey Pardoning Incident of 2011, when the big bird made a break for it and ran around his reception room, leaving scratched and bloody people in its wake.

The event served to highlight Minnesota's status of the nation's leading producer of turkeys. The state's 250 turkey farmers have raised an estimated 47 million turkeys in 2012, and the producers have donated thousands of pounds of turkey to the state's food pantries.

At the event, the turkey producers said they would be donating more than 1,100 birds -- enough to feed more than 13,000 people to Hunger Solutions of Minnesota, along with a check for $11,250.


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