Anyone missing a peacock?
One of the colorful, blue-necked birds has been the subject of fascination and frustration on the Kansas Turnpike during the past week and a half.
Many motorists have spotted and reported the peacock (technically a peafowl, since it hasn’t been identified as male or female) strutting along the shoulder of eastbound Interstate 70 not far from the Tonganoxie-Eudora exit, said Lisa Callahan, the Turnpike’s public relations director.
Maintenance crews and a Kansas Highway Patrol trooper have tried to capture the bird, Callahan said.
“They were not able to get to him,” she said.
Callahan said crews would like to capture the roving peafowl and may try again if a good chance arises — both for the bird’s sake and for the safety of drivers who might gawk or swerve should it try to cross the road.
Peafowl are indigenous to Asia, but it’s common for people on small Kansas farms to keep a few of the birds on their properties, said Mike Miller, chief of information production for the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism Operations Office. Not only are peafowl beautiful, he said, their loud cries can serve a watchdog purpose.
Callahan said her staff doesn’t know where the bird came from but a maintenance supervisor guessed someone in the area owned it, decided they didn’t want it anymore and dumped it.
Miller said that was possible, or that maybe the bird simply wandered off.
Either way, it probably has a decent shot at surviving in the wild, Miller said.
“I think they’re fairly wary animals,”’ he said.