LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Someone is taking out peacocks in the city of Rolling Hills Estates - and residents are divided over whether that's a good thing.
KNX 1070's Ron Kilgore reports the city has asked the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department to investigate the killings of at least 50 peacocks since June 2012.
Hunt For Peacock 'Killer' Underway In Rolling Hills Estates
Technically known as peafowl, the colorful birds, which are incapable of long flights and can grow up to 10 pounds in weight, can be heard issuing their distinct mating call throughout several neighborhoods in the South Bay city.
Some of the peafowl deaths have been determined to be accidental — largely involving the birds being struck by passing vehicles — but a number of them were found to be intentionally killed, according to the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Los Angeles (SPCLA).
While Rolling Hills Estates has a Wild Bird Protection ordinance that prohibits anyone from shooting, trapping, taking or injuring any wild bird within city limits, officials say that hasn't stopped an as-yet unidentified individual from killing peafowl with a pellet gun and crossbow or deliberately running them down in a vehicle.
Humane officers with SPCLA are working with the Sheriff's Department and the Los Angeles County Animal Care and Control's Major Case Unit in the investigation.
City Manager Doug Prichard said there have been property owner attempts to trap and relocate the birds, but so far they have been largely unsuccessful.
"The neighboring birds just sort of fill in behind them, so for those who dislike peafowl, it's pretty frustrating," said Prichard.
A peafowl trap and removal program has been implemented for all areas of the city, except within the boundaries of the Dapplegray Lanes and Strawberry Lane homeowners associations, according to officials.
But resident Dale Allen, who lives in the Buckskin neighborhood, thinks the perpetrator or perpetrators may have moved to the area not knowing the birds were already longtime residents and protected by law.
"They don't realize the peacock situation, the noise they make," Allen said. "They do make some messes on your lawn and backyard area...and then they get upset about it, and I think that's where it's coming from."
Residents with questions about obtaining a Peafowl Removal Permit or other peafowl information are asked to contact Andy Clark at (310)377-1577 ext. 109.
Anyone with information on the killings is urged to call the spcaLA Cruelty Tipline at 1-800-540-SPCA (7722).
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