October 24th, 2019
Almost anywhere you go in Los Angeles, San Diego or surrounding counties, there's a remote chance you might notice the colorful feathers of a Phasianidae (order Galliformes), more commonly referred to as a "Peacock." A Peacock is a distinctive member of the pheasant family, and alive and well all over Southern California, yes,. "Peacocks in Southern California!"
The male is a peacock, the female is a peahen, and both are "peafowl." Three distinct species of peafowl exist, and originally came from several areas in the Old World such India, Africa and Myanmar (formerly Burma). They are also found in zoos and wild animal parks all over the world.
The Peacock's Arrival
So how did they arrive in Southern California? Just the fact that a large exotic bird lives in the suburbs of a large city like Los Angeles and San Diego is enough to make anybody wonder. But the fact that a sizable number of these so-called "Peafowl" casually roam the streets, parks and rural areas of California is enough to cause someone to go one step further and do a little research. At one time, the proud birds were a status symbol for members of the upper echelons of American society. But a fierce debate over what to do about the birds has been nagging California residents for decades, and unfortunately for bird lovers (and for the Peacocks), those long colorful tail feathers just aren't as appreciated like they used to be.
The first known introduction of Peacock into the United States was in 1879, when Elias J. "Lucky" Baldwin brought three pairs to his sprawling ranch in the San Gabriel Valley. Today, groups of wild Peacock (some in private captivity) thrive in California, mostly in the southern portion, as well as in Florida and Hawaii. And even now Houston has a reported problem with wild roaming Peacocks, considered an evasive species anywhere in the U.S.
So now we know when Peacocks were first introduced to California, but how and when were they first allowed to roam the valleys, parks and streets? Lets examine...
A few theories to consider...
Let's examine the story of the California Peacock and consider a number of theories...
Other aspects to consider are the zoos, animal parks and animal refuges in the southern California area. The San Diego Zoo for example, is a very large Zoo surrounded by rolling hills and thick brush, and there is a possibility that a few Peacocks may have escaped. The zoo has been in existence since 1920's, and since then, there have been many animals that have escaped from the SD Zoo alone, including a three-time escapee known as "Ken Allen" a Bornean Orangutan, two Striped Hyenas and a Koala Bear.
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