Neighborhood peacock to be relocated after pecking children at San Antonio Botanical Garden, ACS says

ACS officials say the children were ‘bothering the bird’

A wild peacock that had been roaming a San Antonio neighborhood near Mahncke Park is being relocated after pecking children at an event at the San Antonio Botanical Garden, according to San Antonio’s Animal Control Services.

Concerned neighbors told KSAT via email that they lost a beloved resident and asked for help getting him back.

“Kevin is a beautiful peacock that was taken by Animal Control Services (ACS) after being deemed a ‘threat.’ The threat occurred after unsupervised children were tormenting Kevin at a private event at Botanical Gardens,” one man said in the email.

Neighbors Sharon Adelman and Kahlyne Fletcher said that the bird was “something that brought [the neighborhood] together and so now we’re all torn apart.”

KSAT reached out to ACS and spokesperson Lisa Norwood confirmed that the peacock “was humanely trapped after he showed up to that public space during a public event.”

“People at that event, unfortunately, were bothering the bird, and he acted out while people were trying to take pictures and coming closer to him, pecking two young children,” said Norwood.

Emily Baker, a neighborhood mother, said as a mom she “knows how scary it can be when your kid gets hurt.” But added that Kevin was known to not let children near him.

“I have my kids out looking at him all the time, and he won’t let them get close... If anyone gets too close he runs away so this makes me think maybe he just didn’t have anywhere to run to this time,” said Baker.

A peacock at the San Antonio Botanical Garden on Thursday, May 4, 2023. (KSAT)

One neighbor also said area residents are upset that ACS would respond so quickly to a peacock but haven’t addressed dangerous dogs that linger in the community.

“Kevin was known to wander the neighborhood and he was cared for by old and young residents without incident for almost two years,” the man said.

Norwood told KSAT that Kevin is going to a rescue that can provide him with the appropriate environment, feeding, etc., and said that he is not at risk for euthanasia.

“The peacock is a wild animal and wild animals cannot be owned,” said Norwood.

Although most neighbors are upset with the relocation, one neighbor hopes Kevin will be around other peacocks in a better environment.

“I just hope he goes to a better place and hope he has other peacocks to hang out with,” said Frank Piez.

KSAT reported in 2021 that there are actually several large ostentations — the name of a group of peacocks — in San Antonio.

Norwood previously said ACS receives a few calls about the peacocks every year but for the most part, people just enjoy the birds. Norwood noted that the largest ostentation in San Antonio is in the Oak Hills area.

She also said that if you see a peacock you should leave it alone.

“It’s against the law to cruelly treat them or harm them and that includes inhumanely trapping or poisoning them,” she said.

About the Author:

Mary Claire Patton has been a journalist with KSAT 12 since 2015. She has reported on several high-profile stories during her career at KSAT and specializes in trending news and things to do around Texas and San Antonio.