Los Angeles County says to stop feeding these majestic but noisy birds: NPR
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Peacocks: beautiful, majestic, noisy.
And they’re all over some parts of Southern California, where wild peacocks have been around for decades.
But some residents have complained of property damage and sleepless nights due to the increase in their numbers in recent years. Animals are said to have screeches.
Now Los Angeles County officials are saying stop feeding them.
“They overcrowded in some areas, where they became a nuisance to some who did not agree with their presence,” said Captain Cesar Perea, director of animal cruelty investigations at the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals LA.
Earlier this month, the LA County Supervisory Board voted unanimously to ban feeding peacocks that roam the streets. (Peacock refers to both females and males, peacocks are technically only males.) Intentionally feeding a peacock could result in a fine of $ 1,000 or up to six months in prison. LA County Animal Control must now submit an order for review by supervisors. It would be similar to a ban that has been in place in neighboring Arcadia for years.
Supervisor Kathryn Barger sponsored the peacock proposal.
“These efforts are aimed at balancing the needs of the local community with the peacock population which has grown dramatically over the years,” she said in a statement to NPR.
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Perea of ââthe SPCA says the brightly colored birds often peck their reflections in car windows and destroy gardens and rooftops, forcing homeowners to invest in expensive repairs.
For peacock lovers, however, birds are like pets that they can feed, fondle fondly, and give witty names. Perea is one of those people. He says he has lived with them before and they never bothered him.
Peacocks tend to be afraid of people, unless those people feed them. And feeding them means more of them – and those that are harder to fend off.
That’s because peacocks that have an abundant amount of food tend to breed more, which makes them more territorial, according to Jessica Yorzinski, a professor at Texas A&M University who studies wild peacocks in American neighborhoods.
âOnce they decide that a certain area is their home, they are probably not going to leave unless they are forced to leave,â Yorzinski said. Morning edition.
There have been episodes of violence against peacocks around Los Angeles. At least 50 were killed between 2012 and 2014 at Rolling Hills Estates, some accidentally, but some with pellet guns, shotguns, arrows and poison. In 2019, a man has been charged with the fatal crush of two wild peacocks.
Perea says that although he has not seen an increase in shootings and poisonings in the past two years, he has received numerous reports of crushed peacocks.
Perea doubts the new ordinance will prevent peacocks from invading the county.
âSuch a vague law is going to be very difficult to enforce and very difficult to prosecute,â he said.
Instead, he says, they can be humanely trapped and transferred to ranches or sanctuaries.
The unruly birds could calm down for a while before the ban goes into effect, Yorzinski says, as their mating season ends in a month.
Ryan Benk and Steve Mullis produced and edited the audio story.