By Mark Kellam | The Review
First published in the September 16, print issue of the South Pasadena Review
Peacocks, known as peafowl, were once again a big part of a recent City Council meeting. This time, however, the meeting wasn’t against the animals, so much as residents raising concerns about the birds and how the city will handle relocating them.
The speakers expressed worry about the city’s newly proposed peafowl abatement program, where the birds will be taken once removed from South Pasadena and how they will be treated.
Previously, locals have voiced displeasure about the birds, which are known for their loud calls and destruction of yard landscaping in search of food. Peacocks and peahens are also attracted to shiny objects, which may account for them damaging parked vehicles. Animal control entities do not customarily remove or relocate peafowl — unless they are injured — because they are considered wildlife in Southern California.
During the meeting, one resident read a letter that expressed concerns about addressing the peafowl issue, and argued that a no-feeding ordinance would be a better approach to dealing with the problem.
Councilwoman Evelyn Zneimer said she had spoken with several locals who care about the birds, and assured them that the peafowl will be safe and cared for at the locations to which they are relocated.
Zneimer said she and other city officials held a meeting with Raptor Inc., the company the city has contracted to remove them. The company is very reputable, she added, noting that one of the sanctuaries is in San Diego.
The councilwoman said she has even visited the sanctuary, and described the place as a sort of “wedding destination, bed and breakfast type of thing.” She said the owners wish for the peafowl to roam freely: “And they’re really taken care of.”
The other relocation destination is in Northern California, where “The farmer wanted peafowl on his property,” which is more than 50 acres, Zneimer added.
City Manager Arminé Chaparyan said she and city officials sat down with the consultant to talk about his methods to relocate the peafowl, adding that she didn’t like using the word “trapped” because, from what the city plans, the birds will be collected in a humane way.
The potential plan is slated to come back before City Council at its Oct. 5 meeting.