Police are looking for whoever is responsible for killing peacocks in a Southern California coastal equestrian community.
For the past two years, nearly 50 peafowl have been killed by BB guns, arrows and poison—some killed over consecutive days—in the neighborhood of Dapplegray in Rolling Hills Estates, said Lt. Cesar Perea, of the Los Angeles Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
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Perea, who is investigating the cases, said there are no suspects, but investigators have leads.
Using a weapon to intentionally kill a peacock is a felony in California. Punishment can include a fine and up to three years in prison for each killing of the bird with brilliant blue and purple feathers.
Despite their charm, they can damage roofs and vehicles, Perea said.
"They peck at vehicles," he said.
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The birds have been a fixture on the South Bay area peninsula for 100 years. Some 1,000 birds populate the area.
Many are found in specific neighborhoods. Homeowners on Dapplegray have adopted rules that prohibit the removal of the birds so they tend to congregate there.
"I think they're beautiful and I have no problem with them," Rolling Hills Estates resident Eunice Berman said. "I knew they were here before I moved in here."
But not everybody likes the feathered animals. In areas outside of Dapplegray, permits for trapping and releasing the birds are available.
"The population just grows and people don’t like them in their area," said Andy Clark, Rolling Hills Estates community services director, adding that there are simpler ways to keep the birds away.
"Squirt some water in the area and they'll take off," Clark said.