Beautiful, iridescent blue and green peacocks have been roaming a Rolling Hills Estates neighborhood for over 100 years, but according to the Los Angeles Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCLA), since June 2012 fifty of them have lost their lives by poison and being shot at with BB guns and crossbows.
National Geographic describes peacocks as “one of the most ostentatiously adorned creatures on Earth.” NBC4 Southern California reported that intentionally killing a peacock is a felony in California punishable by up to three years for each killing.
Cesar Perea, a spokesman for the Society, admits that peacocks, despite the charm they lend to the community, can be destructive to roofs and vehicles. “They peck at vehicles,” Perea explained. Andy Clark, a Rolling Hills Estates community services director, added that the birds are multiplying: “The population just grows, and people don’t like them in their area.”
As a result, police are conjecturing that some homeowners may get frustrated by their colorful neighbors and ignore the law, destroying the peafowl to clear them out. Other residents are happy to share the neighborhood with them. “I think they’re beautiful, and I have no problem with them,” said Eunice Berman who makes her home in Rolling Hills Estates. “I knew they were here before I moved in here.”
According to CBS Los Angeles, the SPCLA and the Humane Society are working with the Sherriff’s Department and the Los Angeles County Animal Case Unit to investigate the peacock killings. One resident believes that the perpetrators may have moved into the neighborhood not knowing the privileged status of the birds.