USDA Euthanizes Wild Peacocks In Washington County- Neighbors Upset
Washington County, Oregon – Some folks in Washington County are very upset that these wild peacocks near Tigard have been killed. Tigard police tell KXL they got a call on June 18th, last Tuesday, from someone concerned about a peacock that was attacking a car, scratching it and jumping on the vehicle. An officer showed up and referred the 911 caller to Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. ODFW says peacocks are not a wildlife species they are an exotic animal, so it’s basically not something they deal with. At some point, the case was sent to the USDA Wildlife Animal Services, a federal agency that works as a contractor for ODFW on things like tracking down cougars. In an email sent to KXL, ODFW confirms USDA “euthanized peacocks” who were said to be “unclaimed and very aggressive.” But neighbors who’ve treated the wild birds like pets for a decade, disagree. One woman tell us the birds were very tame, they would eat out of your hand. They recognized her when she got home from work every day and they would come up and greet her, hoping for more treats. She says there was a family of peacocks, a male, a female that lived there for a decade without any issues, and they recently had three new babies. Now she hasn’t seen them around, and now she knows why. We’ve reached out to USDA for comment and have not heard back yet. On the USDA Wildlife services website they say they resolve wildlife conflicts to allow people and wildlife to coexist. We don’t know how many birds were killed. I also called the Audubon society who tells me they do not endorse what USDA did. They say peacocks are more common around the metro area then many may realize. Adding peacocks don’t really cause damage, and the most common call they get is about peacocks jumping onto of cars. They also say it can be tough to relocate the exotic birds.
About a year ago we did a story on the peacocks – read that here:
A small group of wild peacocks has ruffled the feathers of some neighbors in the Cooper Mountain area. Now the residents are in some what of a tug-of-war over the wild birds that do not have a clear owner. KXL’s Jacob Dean talked with one of the neighbors whi has lived in the Cooper Mountain area for seven years. They say they’ve watched the birds grow up and now they’re like family. So it was upsetting when someone posted an ad on Craigslist telling people to come take the birds away. The ad has since been flagged and removed.
It’s unclear what will happened to the peacocks. Officials tell us Washington county animal services code has no mention of peacocks. Meaning there is no “animal law” allowing or prohibiting the ownership of peacocks in Washington county, but there could be another law possibly on the books under a different category like land use and transportation. We are waiting to find out if such a law exists.
We also asked about the newly passed exotic animal ban that takes effect next month in Washington County. That ban would not apply to peacocks. At this point, it’s unclear what will happen to the birds.
Pictures courtesy of the neighbor who spoke with us for the story. She will remain anonymous for safety reasons given the on-going conflict between neighbors.