Roaming village peacocks threatened with death by police are SAVED
Five roaming village peacocks called ‘The Boys’ which were threatened with death by police for causing a nuisance are SAVED after campaign by residents helps find permanent home
- Sussex Police sent letter to residents threatening to kill free-roaming peacocks
- Affectionately dubbed ‘The Boys’, the birds are a fixture of life in Henfield
- Police asked for help after the colourful birds damaged gardens and made noise
- A deal has been reached to give the peacocks a more static home in the village
A band of peacocks who have merrily roamed a village for two years have found a new home after being threatened with death by police officers.
The Boys, as they are affectionately known by locals, are a fixture of life in Henfield, West Sussex and their vibrant plumages have been a welcome sight for residents, particularly during the lockdown period.
So residents were shocked when they received a letter from Sussex Police warning that if the five peacocks could not be rehomed, then a ‘humane dispatch’ would be required.
Sue Bird, who helps run the Save the Henfield Peacocks Facebook group, said a deal has been reached to give the birds a more static home in the village.
Here come the boys: The peacocks have now been given a new roost so will avoid a ‘humane dispatch’
Residents in Henfield enjoy hand-feeding the birds – which appear to have developed a taste for breakfast cereals
She said: ‘They are quite tame, the children in the village feed them from their hands.
‘Some of kids found out that they like strawberries. During the lockdown they have been visiting people’s gardens.’
The Boys currently roam as they please but can be reliably tracked down at certain times of day when they visit specific homes for food.
Their visits to a care home during lockdown provided ‘a bit of something light’ to residents who could not receive visitors, she added.
In one amusing scrape, the birds held up traffic near the local pub one day as they slowly crossed the road.
‘We would be quite happy for them to roam but yes they have been a nuisance to some people and obviously those people have got a right to their opinion’.
The birds have been known to nibble on vegetables in people’s gardens, she said.
People in Henfield defended the birds and banded together to rehome and adopt them in a bid to keep the peacocks in the community
The Boys currently roam as they please but can be reliably tracked down at certain times of day when they visit specific homes for food
Sergeant Tom Carter, wildlife crime lead for Sussex Police, said: ‘Peacocks are a non-native species and these particular birds have been causing damage to the native environment and nature for some time now.
‘They have also been causing distress and inconvenience to some people living in the area, damaging gardens and making excessive noise at all hours of the day.
‘It is important that, for their own safety and welfare, they are captured and removed to secure sanctuary.
‘We are in touch with someone who is happy to assist with this and offer the birds a safe home in the future and we are looking to achieve this as soon as possible.’
Happily for The Boys, a resident has volunteered to host them on their land, where they can still be visited by their many fans.
And while they have gained recent, and indeed worldwide, fame, the peacocks are not Henfield’s sole animal visitor.
Despite various attempts to move it to the sea, a friendly seal has again and again paddled up the river near the village and is a welcome guest.
More than 400 villagers signed a petition to keep the peacocks in Henfield, despite concerns over damage and noise
Local police have reportedly been out with bird seed on the streets of Henfield trying to catch the peacocks
Sussex Police say the peacocks were released in the village unlawfully, while locals say they are the offspring of two other escaped birds spotted around five years ago
Police in Henfield, Sussex had warned that the group of five peacocks roaming free around the village could be put down, unless there was a home that would take them in
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