Video: Peripatetic peahen rescued in Randolph
Moments before the gray sky opened with rain and lightning, Zelda the errant emerald peahen was caught and packed up into an animal rescue van.
Peahen rescue missions like the one Tuesday afternoon are rare; just four to six happen per year in the Boston area, said members of the Animal Rescue League of Boston team who captured the bird.
Any number of reasons could have brought the peahen to the Peters’ house at 9 Anderson Drive.
“I don’t know how she got here,” said one of the rescuers, the league’s Brian O’Connor. “Maybe it was the freak storms. Usually peacocks fly looking for mates or food.”
The owners of the lawn where the bird was captured, Judi and Jerry Peters, said the bird arrived late last week. The Peters’ son, Jon, discovered her on the front lawn.
“She randomly flew here four days ago,” Jon said. “We saw it hop a little, and I threw her grapes, mesclun mixed greens and bread.
“She would stay on the concrete at night and walked in the grass during the day,” he added.
Judi Peters named the peahen Zelda once they determined the green bird with brown and beige plumage was female.
“It looked like a game bird,” Jon said. “We looked it up on the Internet.”
When Zelda started “honking a lot” Tuesday afternoon, Jon said, the Peters called Franklin Park Zoo.
“I think she was really crying out,” Judi said. “It was time for her to leave our nest.”
The zoo, Jon said, referred them to the Animal Rescue League.
Rescue agent Debra Souza arrived first, and after seeing the peahen called for backup.
Massachusetts Humane Officer Lt. Alan Borgal arrived with O’Connor to help Souza catch the bird.
“They’re very elusive,” O’Connor said. “It usually takes weeks to catch these.”
This time the rescuers got lucky.
After Zelda cornered herself under the deck of a house across the street, they captured her in about 10 minutes, O’Connor said.
People don’t need a permit to own peacocks and peahens. But not many own them, the animal rescue group said, and rarely do they get calls to capture them.
Now that Zelda’s been caught, the next step is to get her back to her owner, a process O’Connor said his organization has already started.
And if the Animal Rescue League can’t find Zelda’s owner, the group will take her to a peafarm “or somewhere with experience,” O’Connor said.
With the animal control van poised to drive away from the Peters’ house, Judi Peters realized she would miss Zelda.
“We enjoyed her,” she said.
Abbie Swanson may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.