CLEARWATER — The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office is searching for whoever shot a peacock with an arrow.
Suncoast Animal League executive director Rick Chaboudy wrote about the incident on the organization’s Facebook page on May 12. He said three days prior he was called out to the Greenbriar Estates neighborhood, where neighbors have long been at odds over the peacocks that roam the neighborhood.
Chaboudy said he saw a peacock perched on a roof along Timber Lane with a nearly 3-foot-long arrow sticking out of its body.
After briefly chasing the bird, Chaboudy said he was able to capture it with a net. He took it to the Animal & Bird Center of Palm Harbor for medical treatment.
The arrow managed to miss the bird’s vital areas and medical staff removed it without performing invasive surgery, Chaboudy wrote. The bird is now in a rehab center in Brandon where it’s expected to make a full recovery.
Residents of Greenbriar Estates are used to seeing the brightly colored birds as they roam the streets and trees, Chaboudy wrote, and the bird has flourished in this area.
"Many residents find the peacocks to be a significant part of their Greenbriar heritage," he wrote. "They find their anointed mascot to be regal and majestic. Others find them to be nothing more than a dirty, destructive nuisance that should be banned from their neighborhood."
Peacock calls can also be heard from more than a mile away, Chaboudy wrote, also to the chagrin of some of the residents.
The Sheriff’s Office said this is one of three active investigations into attacks on birds in the neighborhood. While peacocks are not a native species and so are not protected by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the Sheriff’s Office said that "unnecessarily injuring or killing an animal is considered animal cruelty" in the state.
Anyone with information about these incidents is asked to call the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office at (727) 582-6200.