Killing of peacocks has East Oahu residents crying foul

Killing of peacocks has East Oahu residents crying foul
Greg Knudsen
Greg Knudsen
J.R. Raquel
J.R. Raquel

By Duane Shimogawa - bio | email

HAWAII KAI (HawaiiNewsNow) - Wildlife officials have killed 18 peacocks in East Oahu.

Some people are thrilled the noisy birds are gone, but others ask, couldn't the city have consulted them first?

In June, the city contracted with the Federal Wildlife Services for about $50,000 to kill the peacocks.

The city says it didn't need to consult with the Hawaii Kai community because it wasn't a major issue.

The Koko Crater Botanical Garden is home to some of the most beautiful dryland plants in the state.

J.R. Raquel and his family have been going there for five years.

On Friday, they notice something's missing, but it's not any of plants. It's the peacocks that used to roam around the garden.

"It's kind of sad, that was one of the attractions here, the peacocks, my sons really loved them," he said.

Last month, city officials decided to euthanize the birds, using either gas or shooting them in the head, but both are considered humane practices.

We're told it was done because they were too noisy, aggressive and were growing in population too quickly.

"They're not native to Hawaii and because of that, they compete with other species, they take on large territories and during their mating time, they can become very noisy and destructive," State Wildlife Services director, Mike Pitzler said.

But Hawaii Kai Neighborhood Board chairman Greg Knudsen says the community never brought up the issue at its monthly meetings.

"We were thinking this wasn't even a problem, no one had even raised a concern at the neighborhood board, that peacocks were a nuisance at Koko Crater," he said.

In Makaha Valley, peacocks are prevalent. So much so that it irked a Makaha Valley Towers resident to the point that she beat one to death with a baseball bat.

Wildlife officials say they'd step in and help Makaha residents if they felt it was too big of a problem.

"If we were asked to do so and were able to come under contract, we would do so, but unfortunately, there are people in the state that want to preserve them and believe they should be here," Pitzler said.

Like Princess Kaiulani, who loved peacocks and would often look after several of them at her Ainahau Estate in Waikiki.

"There are people who are going to be for them and against them and we're just an agency that has the ability to deal with the problem we're asked to," Pitzler said.

State wildlife officials say they explored the option of putting the peacocks in holding facilities and possibly having someone take them home.

But because the state considers them a nuisance, killing them seemed to be the best way to handle the situation.

"Unfortunately, what's done is done, now they do say they tend to multiply, so perhaps they'll re-populate," Knudsen said.

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