And then they came for Leo …
Leo was a beloved male peacock who lived on Fox Street in the Longboat Key village. When trappers began to remove peacocks, we begged them and city reps not to take Leo.
But on Thursday, July 7, they came for him. My neighbor heard a loud shot and found a strange man with a long rifle standing over an injured, struggling Leo. She demanded he get off her property; he replied he could trespass anywhere he wanted because he was “city.”
Another neighbor witnessed a trapper repeatedly beating a peacock with a large metal net. Finally, the lead trapper grabbed the battered Leo by his feet, dragged him on his back down the street and threw him into a truck — in front of children and sobbing neighbors. A neighbor who hunts said it was the most brutal thing he had ever witnessed.
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When city officials don’t return calls, cranky crones with cell phones are forced to find their own answers, which lead to even more questions. What happened to Leo? Did he survive being “trapped?”
Four local news sources quoted LBK reps who named the peaceful Birds of Paradise Sanctuary as our peacocks’ final destination. On July 13, I spoke to the director of the sanctuary, who told me that only six LBK peacocks have been placed there —the last one arrived two months ago.
Where did our peacocks go? Why all the secrecy? Did the trappers butcher them and sell them as exotic meat? Did LBK city officials know? Did they profit from it?
They shouldn't have taken our Leo. We witnessed cruel, brutal and inhumane treatment. Both the wildlife and the residents were highly traumatized. Shame, LBK!