Presidential pardon for turkeys named Apple and Cider
US President Barack Obama on Wednesday spared two turkeys from Thanksgiving Day dinner plates in a long-standing White House tradition, DPA reported.
"It feels pretty good to stop at least one shellacking this November," Obama joked during the event at the White House, referring to the Democrats' defeat in mid-term elections earlier this month.
Apple and Cider, both 21-week-old, 20-kilogramme birds, are to be sent to George Washington's Mount Vernon estate. They will be on display for visitors until January 6 for the "Christmas at Mount Vernon" celebrations, and then live the rest of their days at the livestock facility there.
The annual tradition dates back officially to the presidency of George Bush (1989-1993) to mark the holiday that takes place on Thursday, when Americans hold a festive meal that includes turkey, potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce, an assortment of vegetables and pumpkin pie.
Last year Obama pardoned a turkey named Courage who was sent off to Disneyland in Anaheim, California, to serve as a grand marshall in a Thanksgiving Day parade. He also pardoned a second turkey named Carolina.