HUMBOLDT COUNTY, Calif. (WTVO) — A peacock which visited a neighborhood in California for the last six years was gunned down recently after a Craigslist post called for a hit on the bird.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the post went up on June 13th, two weeks before the bird – known as Mr. P or Azul – was apparently killed.
“It’s really sad because he probably suffered for at least two or three hours before he died, possibly more,” resident Melissa Glass told the outlet. “One of the neighbor’s daughters had actually recalled seeing a Craigslist ad in search of a peacock assassin.”
The June 13th ad appeared with the title “Someone to get rid of a peacock,” according to the Lost Coast Outpost.
The unidentified author said the bird had been waking him at dawn. “The bird came here about 4 months ago, no one knows from where, and no one here owns it,” the post said.
“Please contact me so we can form a strategy to eliminate this bird, and also to agree on how much you will be compensated,” the ad read.
Glass said one of the neighbors found the peacock’s body in her yard early Wednesday morning.
Her husband, Mike, said he went over and inspected the area, finding a large amount of blood on the roof and on the ground where the animal fell.
He also reportedly found an entry wound but no exit wound.
The Glass’ said a neighbor had come to them prior to the appearance of the Craigslist post (which has since been deleted), asking them to relocate the peacock. They said no, but offered alternative solutions, which the man declined, according to the Outpost.
Peacocks are not protected by California’s Fish and Game laws, and the agency told the Times the incident does not meet the criteria of a poaching incident.
“A potential suspect has been identified by deputies and a search warrant was served at a residence on Hewitt Road in relation to the investigation,” a spokesperson for the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement. “No arrests have been made at this time. The crimes currently being investigated are animal cruelty and conspiracy to commit a crime.“