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Peacocks shot, killed in Fernandina Beach

by: Beth Rousseau, Action News Jax Updated:

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FERNANDINA BEACH, Fla. - For many living in Fernandina Beach, peacocks are part of the culture.

The birds have roamed the island for decades.

Shonda Randa tells Action News Jax, “We’ve noticed lately the numbers have been diminishing.”

Neighbors say one of the peacocks was shot and killed Monday.


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According to the incident report, Gene Drake admitted to shooting the peacock with a pellet gun.

Drake told police the birds were aggressive and their droppings were damaging their property.

Action News Jax tried to ask Drake about the incident. When we went to his home, no one answered the door.

Residents feel there are other ways to deter the peacocks.

They suggest using a specially designed sprinkler system.

“It’s a water-activated sprinkler system. All you have to do is put one on your property and when they get near him, water activates and it shoots them off,” Pam Bell said.


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Without a compromise, residents are worried the killings will continue.

“I’m heartbroken over this. I’m sick to my stomach over this,” Randa said.

Police say Drake shot the bird on his own private property to protect his belongings, so no charges were filed against him.

There is a group calling on county commissioners to create an ordinance protecting peacocks on the island.