Neighbours still squawking about Surrey peacock population
SURREY - Frustrated homeowners in Surrey are renewing their concerns about the peacock problem in Sullivan Heights.
The City of Surrey began trapping the birds a year ago after complaints of a population boom.
The move is getting mixed reaction from those who live nearby.
“Hi peacock,” exclaimed Athena Shrestha, as she ran toward a muster of birds outside Cambridge Elementary School.
The little girl and her family recently moved to the neighbourhood.
Visiting the peacocks has become their new ritual.
"Oh they're beautiful. We love them. That's one reason why we moved here,” said Binod Shrestha, Athena's father.
But the number of their feathered friends is dwindling.
"About a year ago, the City of Surrey began trapping the peacocks,” explained Ryan Cragg, a resident of the neighbourhood.
According to the city, 17 birds were taken to the Surrey Animal Resource Centre and subsequently adopted.
The move was the result of numerous complaints about noise, property damage and bird droppings.
About a dozen birds remain in the area.
“They certainly need to continue trapping them," Cragg said. "Maybe not just waiting for us to let them know. Or maybe myself and my neighbours have to be more on top of letting the city know the job isn't done just yet.”
The fines for feeding and housing peafowl are $250 and $450, respectively.
Cragg believes those may need to be raised.
"This is the first time that the numbers have dropped that dramatically, even if you take the trapping into account. The feeding and sheltering of the peacocks was certainly having an effect on the population,” said Cragg.
Neighbours say Sullivan Heights has been home to the peafowl for decades. It’s believed they were left behind by a farm before the area was developed.
"I would like to see them stay," said Shrestha. "They are not harmful. They are a part of this nature. They are part of this environment. Why would you move them, you know? I don't see any reasons."
But as along as neighbours remain divided on the issue, it appears there will be ruffled feathers whether the birds stay or go.