Some residents called it parade time. A group of preening peacocks would strut up the middle of Harbourne Avenue, drawing admiring stares and bringing traffic to a halt. Half an hour later, the birds would saunter back to their home in Paignton zoo.
But not yesterday. To the horror of many local people, the concern of animal activists and the despair of zookeepers, seven male peacocks were culled by the zoo after one neighbour complained that the spectacular birds were a noisy nuisance.
The Devon zoo argued that it had no choice after the neighbour took his fight to the local council and threatened legal action, claiming the peacocks, which make themselves noticed at this time of year with a piercing screech, were ruining his sleep and causing havoc in his garden.
A similar, disturbing, controversy is brewing in my neighborhood. We live next to a large forest preserve area and within the last few years the deer have become more and more invasive. They eat the flowers, munch on the bushes, and leave piles of poop behind.
Some of the neighbors are demanding drastic action to control or eliminate the deer population. They want them gone! Many are advocating just killing them outright.
My thoughts? The forest preserve was there when I bought my house - the deer were there before I was.
I'm giving up on impatients and hostas, the deer enjoy them too much. I'm trying to plant more decorative grasses and herbs which the deer are not so fond of. I refuse to spray coyote urine - yuck! nasty stuff!
I also enjoy the chipmunks, racoons, coyotees, foxes, squirrels and even the opposums that like to wander through my yard. I would have loved to have had the daily peacock parade through my neighborhood. How sad that some people think otherwise