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Amelia Island neighbors outraged after trapper removes dozens of peacocks

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Updated: 1/07 6:56 pm
AMELIA ISLAND, Fla. -- A peacock battle is brewing on Amelia Island.

"Everybody enjoys them. All these people enjoy them," said Pam Bell.

For 50 years, the colorful birds have been roaming free in the Amelia Island neighborhood off Scott Road. It's become a way of life. The county even installed street crossing signs for them.

"The ecology, at least in this area, has been affected by the peacocks," Bell said.

But Bell said a trapper came in and took the birds after a few neighbors wanted them gone. There are only two left.

"They've scratched up our cars. They've eaten our plants. We put up with them," she said.

Neighbors directed Action News to the home they say played a role in calling out the trapper.

No one was home when Action News knocked on the door, but our cameras caught what's left of a trap around the back of the home. We also obtained a picture taken before the feeder was taken down.

Nick Hartley owns Kritt R Done. He said he did what he was paid to do.

"We found a home to relocate the peafowl to," said Hartley. "We've trapped 29 peafowl. We've relocated some out to the farm and some we still have in our possession just awaiting transport."

Hartley said because no one would claim ownership of the animals, the homeowners who called him didn't break any laws. Neither did he.

"All the trapping was done on private property, which according to law is fine," Hartley said.

But the group of pro-peacock neighbors is now demanding Hartley bring them back.

"You don't know what you've got until it's gone," Bell said.

Hartley said it's against state law to release them back to the neighborhood into the wild once they've been trapped.

Action News contacted to Nassau County leaders. A commissioner said at this point it's a civil matter -- but he is looking to see if any peacock ordinance is on the books.

There is a Nassau County Commission meeting Monday at 6 p.m. The pro-peacock group plans to attend.

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