Angry Grovites Talk 'Cocks

Categories: Flotsam
luise via flicker cc
About a year ago, folks in Coconut Grove began complaining about wild peacocks. The feathered squawkers ran in wolf-like packs and saw the world as one big toilet. It made a doctor on Micanopy Avenue so angry he called for the crazy creatures to be hauled away.

Letters were written. City commissioners were phoned. Soon the fowl had almost vanished in the north Grove.

The whole thing was sad. To Riptide, the psychedelic sidewalk chickens seemed like the ultimate novelty. Sort of like finding a cocoon of butterflies in your cubicle. We thought of all the impressed house guests we could wrangle and then tried transporting a small family of 'cocks to our studio apartment by bicycle. (Not really. That's a lie.)

Flash-forward to last Sunday. The Miami Herald Neighbors section did a piece about where the fowl ended up: Sandy Acre Avocado & Mango farm in the Redland. An elderly couple on the seven-acre grove now allow them to roam.

But there was more to the story. On Monday, crackerjack Coconut Grove Grapevine blogger Tom Falco began getting emails from Grovites. They weren't happy. Some accused the farmers of nabbing the birds. "While the Sandy Acre Avocado & Mango farm is being accused of stealing the peacocks," Falco wrote, "it appears that a few local officials are the culprits."

By phone, Falco told Riptide he believed the city might have illegally transported them. "[The city] did it so secretively. Most people are furious... One day [the peacocks] were here, and the next they were all gone."

(Farmer Sidney Robinson told Riptide the city asked him to adopt the birds and "was just trying to accommodate mother nature.")

After some digging, Falco found the city indeed had obtained the necessary permits. But he still wished there had been more of a public discussion about it. Officials had responded to pressure from a group of north Grove neighbors headed by one doctor.

So Falco posted one last blog entry on the subject. This time, he was more sympathetic toward the city. "It was either get rid of the peacocks or the doctor," he wrote. "And I wish it had been the latter."

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