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Fernandina taxpayers forced to pay for growing peacock problem

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Updated: 7/15/2013 7:05 pm
FERNANDINA BEACH, Fla. -- It's going to a be a hefty burden for some locals to get rid of some problem peacocks. Action News found out both Nassau county and the city of Fernandina have received dozens of calls, but both say it's not their problem.

"About the last two years they've gotten a lot worse I guess there was just a large hatching of peacocks," said homeowner Steve Silver.

Most people pay to see these beautiful birds at zoos, but a small community in Fernandina is riddled with roaming peacocks. A nuisance is what Steve Silver calls it.

"There's a nest there and a nest there and as I said when I came home earlier there were 13 of them," said Silver.

One homeowner got so fed up, he called Nassau County Commissioner Steve Kelley for help. However, Kelley tells Action News even he hit a roadblock, saying no one would remove them.

"I just wanted to make sure we had some way of controlling them before people started to take drastic measures," said Kelley.

Action News found out, the only way to humanely get rid of the peacocks is for taxpayers to hire a trapper. "Kritt R Done" was called to lay out the trap, and this wasn't their first time. Nick Hartley says he's had dozens of calls, with some cases worse than others.

"They were damaging cars, leaving droppings in front of houses, they're very, very loud animals," Hartley said.

They scare easily too, but with food, they were able to lure the peacocks to the trap until it was time to drop the gate. She made it in unharmed and already has a new home waiting for her, outside of Fernandina.

"It's a little farm land. They have a peacock out there right now and they want a peahen to go with them so that's where she's going," said Hartley.

Action News is still looking into who will shoulder the financial burden. We're told there is a county commission meeting this Wednesday, where the issue will be discussed.

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Fbaker - 7/17/2013 5:33 AM
0 Votes
We had the same problem just over a year ago, we paid out of pocket for a trapper that only caught one of the two that were around our place damaging cars and everything else. I actually had a JSO officer come to my house and informed me that I could not harm the fowl, that they were a protected species by the Dept of Agriculture. Even threatened me with being arrested. I ended up making a humane trap and trapped the male myself and relocated it. Another news station covered the story. Good luck Fernandina, there is no government agency that will help, we found out that the hard way.

Truthseeker - 7/16/2013 4:43 AM
0 Votes
I didn't think that Florida's game laws protected non-native species.
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