Free-Roaming Peacocks No Longer Call The Denver Zoo Home
The feathers ruffled a few too many guests.
There’s no doubt that peacocks are the showboats of the avian world. The male peafowl’s eye-catching blue and green plumage is something to behold when they fan it out, generally part of a mating ritual to attract the females.
The Denver Zoo was home to several free-roaming peafowls, but guests noticed that something was amiss when the zoo opened its gates after the COVID-19 closure: the peacocks were gone.
The birds often roamed the zoo and nearby City Park but due to too many negative issues, the zoo decided to move them to another facility. According to officials, it was done for the birds and guests’ safety.
Turns out that the birds were being harassed by people for their feathers. In addition, because of their familiarity with humans and people feeding them, there were too many scuffles over food. One such incident in 2010 made the Denver news when a peacock went ham on a toddler eating lunch at the zoo with his preschool class. It was thought the bird was going after the food, but the boy ended up with cuts and stitches across his face.
Incidents like these had spurred other zoos to get rid of their peafowl flocks over the past few years—the bird is known to be aggressive in certain situations. While the Denver Zoo held on as long as it could, taking several measures to make the area safer for everyone involved, officials made the decision to relocate them. Guests appear to be disappointed about the decision and have asked about the birds on the zoo’s social media pages.
“They moved on to another facility for their own safety after too many incidents between guests and our free-roaming peafowl,” said the zoo on its Facebook page in response to questions about their whereabouts. “Unfortunately, they will not be returning. We’re very sorry.”
If you are a peafowl fan, you can still visit the zoo’s last peacock in the aviary—he has a limp, so he is not free-roaming. In addition, the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo has a free-roaming flock that is a staple at the facility.