Peacock problems: Clearwater community killing peacocks, law enforcement says it’s not illegal

Pinellas County

CLEARWATER, Fla. (WFLA) – There’s a peacock problem in Pinellas County. Some said there’s too many, others argue there aren’t enough.

Some neighbors consider the wild animal’s therapy pets while others call the peacocks a nuisance and kill the birds to get rid of them, but that solution doesn’t sit so well with everyone.

Peacocks are native to India, Asia, and Africa, not Florida, and seem to have taken a liking to the Greenbriar neighborhood in Clearwater.

Ruth Blaondell said if a peacock wanders into the wrong yard, it’s killed with a bb-gun. “I find it barbaric!” said Blaondell.

“It makes me sick,” said another neighbor, Ginger Smith.

8 On Your Side in 2018 reported peacocks were getting killed with bow and arrows but neighbors say now, it’s worse.

“I know whether it’s the COVID crisis or what, there’s been a massive killing of peacocks,” said Blaondell who is also the neighborhood HOA President.

Bloaondell said she’s concerned humans are going to get caught in the crossfire and get injured.

Susan Sanders considers the birds therapy pets and she recently found 3 dead in her yard.

“I thought I was going to get a heart attack. I was crying. Others were crying,” said Sanders.

The birds do ruffle some feathers for others because they’re noisy and messy.

“They nest is my tree, they poop on my car. Almost daily I have to come wash the cars,” said Pat Hetton who doesn’t care for peacocks and has no problem with neighbors killing the birds.

“I wouldn’t condemn them for it…I would condone it. I just wouldn’t do it myself,” said Hetton.

The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office said it’s not illegal to kill peacocks because they’re not a protected species.

Florida Fish and Wildlife said the birds are domestic so it’s the Department of Agriculture’s jurisdiction.

The Department of Agriculture said there are no specific regulations, but if the birds are killed inhumanely it is considered animal abuse and suggests calling animal control.

Upset neighbors said they plan on banning together to change legislation to protect these birds and keep them from getting killed.

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