If you have enjoyed seeing the peacocks at Long Beach Village on the north end of Longboat Key in Manatee County, I'd suggest you visit this week as the beautiful birds are soon to be trapped, bagged and shot out of trees with tranquilizer darts, shipped out to destinations, or ends, unknown.
The city commissioners are paying a trapper $25,000 plus of tax money to accomplish this. This is being done because some people complained to city hall that the birds are an "annoyance," as stated by one of the commissioners.
These birds have lived here in the village for decades, much longer than most residents!
How was this decision to rid the village of an estimated 150 birds made? We know of no survey circulated to residents nor a vote, nor any attempt to compromise on reducing the numbers of peacocks and peahens.
The commissioners decided to keep only 12, all males, which borders on cruelty. The only public meeting we knew of was held this past week after the contract was made with the trapper to inform the residents of how the task would be accomplished.
The birds are sometimes noisy. They do eat some flowers, they poop and they attract cars with families slowly passing or stopping to enjoy their beauty. There are stories of them being destructive, but we have not witnessed anything worthy of their removal.
We believe there are many residents of the village who enjoy them as we do for their beauty and their care for their young. My wife and I love them and wish they were staying. We will miss them.