Frosted Flakes has Tony the Tiger, University of Florida has Albert the Alligator, and the City of Miami Beach has Mr. Clucky -- the bicycle-riding rooster. On any given Saturday, you can catch the bright white celebrity bird canoodling with tourists on Lincoln Road, perched on silver handlebars, or just out for a beer with handyman-cum-activist owner Mark Buckley. He's become quite the unofficial Beach mascot since New Times slapped his feathered mug on a cover a couple of years ago.
But that could end soon. Last week, Buckley was cited by the city's code enforcement department. The citation explained the rooster must leave town in seven days. The reason: The city prohibits "the keeping, stabling, or maintaining of livestock."
"It's nuts," says Buckley, who considers the fowl a friend. "He's just a cheerful little animal who likes to bike around and meet people, and he's getting shot down for some insane bureaucratic bullshit. It's like, "Alert! Alert! Oh my God, it's a CHICKEN!"
Says Miami Beach Spokesperson Ivette Diaz: "[Buckley] can file for an appeal of the citation within ten days of the notice with the Office of the City Clerk."
Around 9 a.m. last Wednesday, there was a knock on the door of Buckley's cozy South Beach pad. He says he found a sheepish code enforcement officer at his front entrance. "He told me: 'Don't shoot the messenger. I love Mr. Clucky.'"
The officer then handed him a $50 ticket. It noted that a resident had seen the duo cycling around town, and complained that Buckley "has a rooster and possible other farm animals." (And the award for Biggest Sourpuss goes to...)
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Thing is, Mr. Clucky isn't your typical coop-dwelling critter. He has been a grand marshal at the King Mango Strut Parade, has headlined Miami-Dade Earth Day events, and even won "best activist" in City Link last year. And so, Buckley wonders, shouldn't there be an exception?
The duo is not leaving without a fight. Buckley is drafting a letter to the city and has begun plotting a protest. He says he will "stand up and take down city hall if necessary."
He adds, "[Clucky] may be an outlaw, but he's not a criminal."