No More Free-Roaming Peacocks at the Denver Zoo
Following a three month closure, the Denver Zoo has reopened their doors to the public. However, although they are allowing guests back into the zoo, many noticeable changes have been made in terms of safety and sanitation.
One of the big differences that zoo-goers may notice is the absence of the colorful peacocks strutting across the grounds. The free-roaming birds had been a staple on the premises dating back to the '70s, and from time to time, even escaped into nearby neighborhoods.
While they are beautiful animals, the Denver Zoo peacocks had received several complaints over the years. According to Westword, in 2010 one peacock left a three-year-old guest needing ten stitches on his face after attacking him while eating lunch. Very often, children tried cornering the birds and pulled at their feathers, too.
Because of the 2010 incident, along with multiple other reports of peacocks acting aggressively towards humans, the Denver zoo began paying more attention to the birds. Since the peacocks weren't actually part of an exhibit, the zoo started documenting them more regularly and attempted to limit their interaction with humans. They also separated the hens and cocks for population control.
Other zoos across the country have begun to move their wandering peafowl away to private facilities, in order to avoid situations like the one that happened in 2010. While Denver opted to still keep theirs on the premises for a while after the incident, they ultimately decided it was in the best interest of the peafowl and their guests to remove them from the grounds all together.
Denver's roaming peacocks have now been taken to new homes at private ranches and facilities. Only one remains in the zoo's aviary, but he is lame and not free to wander.