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Citizen Squawks Pay Off: Traps Await Peacocks

August 04, 1988

The city of La Canada Flintridge will offer traps to residents who want to control peacocks destroying property and making noise in a neighborhood near the bend in Angeles Crest Highway.

After hearing arguments on both sides from 24 residents Monday, the City Council voted to buy traps at $125 each and lend them to residents at no cost.

'Will Support Control'

"I definitely support some control of them," said Mayor Joan Feehan. "I'm not opposed to setting traps for them, particularly since we have someone to take them."

The Wildlife Waystation, a rescue and holding facility for wild and exotic animals in Little Tujunga Canyon, has offered to take trapped peafowl at no charge to the city or residents.

Residents have complained that the birds are noisy, have destroyed gardens and flower beds and leave messy droppings behind. Robert Barrow of El Vago Street, who said he brought the original complaint to the council, said the birds ruined a $300 Jacuzzi top he now will have to replace.

The peacock population in the area has increased steadily since 1984, when a brush fire drove coyotes, the peacock's primary predator, from the area. The council first heard residents' complaints in 1986, but at that time decided against trapping and relocating the birds, said Doug Stevenson, administrative assistant for the city.

More than 250 people attended the council meeting as residents lined up in front of the microphone to either defend or condemn the exotic birds.

'Taken Over Neighborhood'

"Peacocks have taken over the neighborhood," said Joyce Davison of Haskell Street. Davison showed pictures of property damage she said was caused by the peacocks.

Other residents defended the birds. "I'm for the peacocks," said

Jim Montgomery of Pizzo Ranch Road. "I don't understand why the City Council should get involved in a personal problem. . . . I don't see why people can't control their yards."

The city has ordered 10 traps and expects to have them available after next week, said City Manager Don Otterman. He is considering requiring a refundable deposit on the traps, he said.

Residents may either take the trapped birds to the Wildlife Waystation or call the County Agricultural Commission, which will charge 28 cents a mile to transport the birds, Otterman said.

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