Fort Pierce residents urge city to put up ‘peacock crossing signs’

Story by Jana Eschbach/CBS12

FORT PIERCE, (CBS12) — A daily traffic wildlife roadblock is getting dangerous for the birds.

“When they are blocking traffic, they do become stubborn and they will stand right in the middle of the street,“ said Peggy Arraiz, Code Compliance Manager with the City of Fort Pierce, who supervises Animal Control for the city, “They were domesticated at one time. Now they are just a wild bird. They fly free. They roam free.”

Tonight neighbors of the brightly-colored birds are asking for better bird protections after one peacock is hit and killed by a speeding driver.

For those not familiar with the downtown locals, many drivers headed to I-95 are clashing with the birds brought here by the Krane family in 1901.

More than 20 hang in trees and cross when they please on Orange Avenue near the Federal Courthouse in historic downtown Fort Pierce.

Today, when one bird was hit and killed by a car, the others circled his remains on the roadway, refusing to move.

The birds blocked traffic in a ‘bird funeral’ of sorts.

“The bird has the right of way and it can be frustrating because I come down this road myself at 5 o’clock at night and it will be stopped and backed up to US 1 because the birds have decided to just stop in the middle of the road.” Arraiz said, “some people absolutely love them. Some don’t love them. It is against the law to hurt or damage another animal–same as any other animal.”

Relocating the peacocks is also out of the question. They seem to come back. Only once seeking a new home in the City Hall Parking Garage.

“They made a home in the parking garage in city hall and we tried to catch them and it was really humorous because they fly. They will fly right at you and so you are ducking . I mean, it was not working,” Arraiz said.

“If you put up some signs that say peacock crossing, which we have seen other signs in other towns, it may save them and warn drivers to slow down,” said downtown resident Cathy Phywassynklo, “We think it is one of the main attractions in Fort Pierce. They come across our lawn in the morning and create this wild sound. We just love them they are so beautiful.”

Warning downtown drivers may simply be the best option, one that Arraiz plans to propose to City Public Works.

Most likely any new signage would go up at 7th street and Orange Avenue–a prime peacock crossing zone.

State law prohibits any harm or death of any bird in Florida. If you are driving, the law dictates you must yield to wildlife.
Fort Pierce residents urge city to put up ‘peacock crossing signs’

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