PARAMUS, N.J. -- It's not often a motorist hits a wild turkey on Route 4 in Paramus.
"My wife was driving," Elan Carmel of Paramus told Daily Voice. "She called me from the road and said she hit a bird and to come downstairs."
Alexa Carmel, due to give birth to identical twins in June, figured she was doing about 50 mph when she struck the turkey around 11:30 p.m. Thursday near the Garden State Plaza.
"I met her in the driveway," her husband said, "and to my surprise, it was still in the bumper."
After sending his wife upstairs, Carmel drove to Paramus police headquarters.
"I asked the officer at the front desk if he could help me remove the bird," he said. "He said, 'Lucky for you I'm a hunter.'
"I said, 'Great! Bring your gloves!' "
Once known as "forest turkeys," the meleagris gallopavo silvestris traces back to the Puritans and has one of the largest ranges of its kind -- from Maine to north Florida and as far west as Michigan, Illinois and Missouri.
They can weigh up to 30 pounds.
Late Thursday night, the officer met Carmel in the parking lot and removed the road kill.
"It looked like a down pillow with all of the feathers," Carmel said.
A mechanic charged him $800 to replace the radiator and repair the air conditioner -- "not including the bumper," Carmel said.
"That's one expensive turkey dinner."