Two peacocks are needlessly dead because people had no regard for the birds’ safety, instead taking advantage of the defenseless animals and handling them in overly aggressive fashion.
The two birds died at the hands of rowdy Chinese tourists in separate incidents on two different days at the Yunnan Wild Animal Park in Kunming, China. In a report by the Daily Mail, park management stated that the visitors’ behavior shocked the beautiful birds at the Peacock Park within the center, and this led to their untimely deaths.
One incident occurred on Feb. 12. Tourists were seen roughly handling a peacock in order to take photos with the bird. It has also been reported that people plucked feathers from the bird causing more shock to his system, which is the suspected reason the bird ended up dying.
Zoo goers who saw the incident were outraged and expressed their anger.
A zoo representative released a statement soon after, saying, “The uncivilized behavior of visitors caused the death of a peacock, a preliminary investigation determined that the five-year-old bird was scared to death.”
A witness at the park who spoke to local reporters added, “When I went to see the peacock safari I saw several people forcefully pull the feathers off one bird, holding it tightly for pictures.”
Ironically, Yunnan Wild Animal Park is the home to more than 6800 peacocks, males and females, which are allowed to roam freely throughout the park. This was purposely done to show that man and peacocks can live in harmony together. Obviously, this line of thinking may have to be reconsidered in light of the recent incidents.
A separate incident occurred on Feb. 15. This time a group of four tourists was observed at approximately 10 a.m. handling a peacock in an abusive manner.
Pictures depicting the abusive behavior of these tourists were posted to Chinese social media sites. The pictures show both children and adults grinning and smiling while abusing the poor bird as photos were taken.
A zoo spokesperson was reported as saying that such an incident like this had never happened before, although zoo employees often remind visitors not to touch the peacocks.
“Peacocks” is a term many use to describe both male and females, however, technically “peacock” is the term that should be applied to the males and “peahen” should be applied to females. The two as a group should be referred to as “peafowl.”
These birds are ground feeders and their diet consists of insects, plants and small creatures. These birds have been around for thousands of years, and throughout history have been kept as pets, but these birds were not made to be manhandled. They are beautiful birds to admire visually.
This death involving tourists follows on the heels of a report from earlier this month regarding the death of an endangered species baby dolphin in Argentina.
In that story, a mob of beach-goers caused the death of a dolphin because they wanted to take selfies with the poor creature.
Indeed, careless human interaction appears to have increasingly become a danger to wildlife.
The Orlando Sentinel recently reported that a man pulled a shark from the water at a Florida beach so that bystanders could take photographs. The shark visibly struggled on the beach for well over a minute until it was returned to the ocean.
Elizabeth Hogan, a U.S. oceans and wildlife campaign manager for the World Animal Protection non-profit organization, issued a statement unequivocally rejecting such behavior.
“Removing a shark from the ocean for the sake of a selfie is highly cruel,” she argued. “This animal would have been suffocating and unable to breathe the entire time it was kept out of the water.”
The obvious lesson seems to be that wildlife is often better off when left undisturbed—even if that means foregoing a selfie or other unnecessary behavior.