Coconut Grove residents ruffled over missing peacocks

The other day, 44-year-old Carlos Iglesia was jogging in Kennedy Park in Coconut Grove when he heard a strange noise. It sounded like a lady screaming in pain — or intense pleasure? — so he slowed down to investigate and found several wild peahens huddled behind an old fence.

"They yell like a woman having an orgasm," Iglesia says and then imitates the noise in a falsetto pitch. "It sounds like, uh-ahhhhh!"

The unruly female squawkers began acting insane — "screeching" and "smashing into glass doors" — after trappers two weeks ago hauled away a flock of males to prevent them from mating. According to Grove activists, the birds were taken to a Redland farm because they're loud and poop everywhere.

The relocation angered outspoken guys like Iglesia, who say the psychedelic sidewalk chickens are "part of Grove tradition." Getting rid of them seems to have made things worse: The lady critters have since come down with a serious case of the lonelys.

The peacocks, along with their peahen mates, began disappearing from the Grove a little more than a year ago, after an influential doctor who lives on Micanopy Avenue contacted the city. Officials gave the go-ahead to trap the lusty poopers — the footage made the Discovery Channel — and move them to Sandy Acre Avocado and Mango Farm in the Redland. When neighbors heard the news in August, they accused the old farmers of stealing.

(Farmer Sidney Robinson tells Riptide the city asked him to adopt the peacocks and that he's "just trying to accommodate mother nature.")

Later, Coconut Grove Grapevine blogger Tom Falco wrote, "It was either get rid of the peacocks or the doctor, and I wish it had been the latter."

Last week, the fowl began disappearing again. This time, only the peacocks were taken. The females left behind are louder than ever. Falco blames city officials. "It was all done secretly," he says. "Just because a couple people were bitching."

 
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