Tranquilizer darts will be used to remove peacocks on Longboat Key

Posted at 2:00 PM, Jul 27, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-27 10:16:01-04

Longboat Key, Fla. -- Male peacocks and female peahens are known to be pretty birds, but on a part of Longboat Key, they have an ugly reputation.

"Well, I'm not fond of them at all."

Resident Wayne Burgess has lived here for a little over a year and says the neighborhood is overrun by dozens of these peacocks.

"They make a mess of the driveways, they will roost in the yards if no one is around."

And for some, there's another unexpected problem.

"Snowbirds stop in the middle of the street because there's a peacock there and they want to take pictures of it."

The town of Longboat Key decided to use traps in the beginning of the year to remove most of the peacocks. But according to Longboat Key Parks and Recreation Manager Mark Richardson, they're now opting for a more expensive and efficient approach

"So this month we started finally tranquilizing peacocks, so now there are no traps out."

Once tranquilized, the birds are relocated to natural environments

"Let's capture and relocate all the females and leave about 10 - 12 males if we could,  to still have the peacock in the village."

"Everyone has a different number. A lot of the villagers say they estimated it at about 100 or more than that.

But some folks living here don't mind the peacocks at all. They say they have a right to be here, just like everyone else.

"I prefer they wouldn't actually remove them. I don't see any problem with the peacocks. People that moved here know they are around here."

Resident Christopher Carman has lived her for more than two decades. He doesn't like the idea of relocating peacocks in the neighborhood. Other than the occasional load noises, he says they're really not as big of a problem that some people say they are.

"After living here all this time, you get used to it and it's actually one of the benefits and actually having birds so we can enjoy them.