Debate Over the Removal of Peafowls


Linda Zhang, Staff Writer

Peafowls have long been residents of Arcadia, and they remain to be one of the most special aspects of the city. However, Arcadia is not the first home of the peafowls; they were brought over from India in the late 19th century by Elias J. (Lucky) Baldwin, the man who founded the city. After purchasing Rancho Santa Anita for $200,000 in 1875, Baldwin brought in the peafowls to enhance the area, which is now known as the Los Angeles (LA) County Arboretum. However, the peafowl population gradually expanded out of the Arboretum into nearby cities, such as Pasadena.  

After LA County first purchased 111 acres of land from Rancho Santa Anita, staff members of the Arboretum have since then dealt with calls from angry citizens complaining about the peafowl. 

When staff members receive requests for the peafowls to be taken away from a resident’s neighborhood, they often respond, “Unfortunately, we do not do that. They are wild animals.”

Just like that, without any forms of regulation on this non-native population, the number quickly started multiplying. Now some residents of South Pasadena are demanding all peafowls be removed.

“My car’s been scratched. My yard has been torn up, and the poop, that’s everywhere,” Jerilyn Chun, a resident from Monterey Hills expressed.

“The screaming peacocks always wake me up before my alarm, which is really annoying,” Ellie Wu, a resident of Arcadia said. 

As a result, a petition with two hundred signatures was sent to the South Pasadena Council. Eventually, the council contacted a company called Raptor Events, to help relocate the peafowls. Yet to the surprise of the citizens, the company refused to release any specific information regarding where they would import the peafowls, even to the city manager. All the council knew was that the company wanted to move the peafowls into sanctuaries somewhere in San Diego. Therefore, residents began to hesitate about the eradication of the peafowls, for they felt like they had the right to know where the animals that had long lived in their neighborhoods were going.

Because of this, residents from both Arcadia and Pasadena, sharing the same home as the peafowls, began speaking up for these animals at the South Pasadena Council. 

“I think that the peacocks have their home, and we should coexist,” one resident said. “I think it’s a great opportunity for all of us to learn how to live with each other.… I mean, how many communities can say they have peacocks running around?” said Donna Choi, a resident of Arcadia. 


Photo courtesy of UNSPLASH.COM