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From emails sent to the City of Oakland last year about a wild peacock living in a North Oakland neighborhood. The records were obtained by Adrien Salzberg at MuckRock.

I’ve heard that there was a petition started by a recent transplant to have Animal Control remove a much-loved peacock from our neighborhood. I am absolutely disgusted and would like to voice my strong opposition. It’s magical to see him sitting in trees or on rooftops during walks, and he has long been a source of joyful discussion between neighbors.

I am writing this letter in support of allowing Abraham, the Occidental Street peacock, to remain where he is. Moving him from his chosen spot could present a danger and even death. I have offered to buy the disturbed neighbor a white-noise machine.

It has come to my attention that there is a one-person effort to have the neighborhood peacock removed. He is a joy to all around him save for one miserable, joyless woman. I hereby advocate for the removal of this nuisance of a woman from our community.

Longtime neighborhood resident. Prefer to displace the complainant.

I love Peter/Bruce! Please do not take him away. I get a ton of pleasure hearing him vocalize. I look forward to it every night.

He is loved so much by so many that he has different names. People don’t name birds they don’t like.

A week ago, I followed the sound of a unique birdcall and stumbled on a majestic king of a bird. He was up in the tree and the moon was in vision—it was such a beautiful sight! I felt blessed to be in his presence. Given the chaos we are experiencing in the world, to have a precious creature nearby is healing.

There are a lot more important things going on than a petition to remove a peacock from Occidental Street. That’s why I’m writing. We are feeling collective grief, fear, and isolation-fatigue. Abraham/Bruce/Peter’s occasional callout gives us a needed sense of community.

I hope we can tolerate the occasional noise of the animal kingdom given that we humans are the biggest noisemakers of all—from planes to cars, motorcycles to fireworks, and even gunshots!

My family has lived in the neighborhood for almost seventy years! Over the years, we have lived among the following: a scurry of squirrels, a gaze of raccoons, flocks of turkeys, a murder of crows, a passel of possums. And now a beautiful peacock who is vocally active during the mating cycle. The peacock, whom I call Junebug, brings a unique joy to the neighborhood. Schools are closed, the zoo is closed, museums are closed. Please leave the children (and the adults) this one exciting and beautiful creature.

Don’t even think about moving this bird. A bird like him has a six-block radius, and moving him too quickly could kill him. Please explain what the plan is; I’ll fight his capture to the death.

Please don’t force out a resident of our neighborhood. Oakland should be about inclusion.

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September 2021

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