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Suspects caught selling peacock for drug money

A Reaction Unit SA officer holds the peacock which was rescued in Verulam yesterday.

A Reaction Unit SA officer holds the peacock which was rescued in Verulam yesterday.

Published Oct 30, 2021


Reaction Unit SA officers rescued a peacock in Verulam yesterday after being tipped-off about two men trying to sell the bird in Todd Street.

In a media release, the security company said it had received the call “after a passerby noticed the two men selling a peacock to the occupants of a white Golf GTI”.

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“Reaction officers responded to the call and on arrival, located the peacock on the back seat of the vehicle.

The long tail feathers of the peacock had been removed to be sold separately

“Its legs were bound. According to the driver of the car, he had paid the two individuals R300. The suspects had removed the feathers from the bird which they intended selling separately.

Two men selling a peacock in Verulam yesterday told Reaction Unit SA officers they needed money to buy heroin.

“They (suspects) informed Reaction Officers that the proceeds of the sale were to be used to purchase heroin,” said the statement.

Peacocks have been kept as pets for thousands of years and regarded as a status symbol by the rich and famous. They are known for their colourful iridescent plumage and wide tail, which when fanned out, make up more than 60% of the bird’s body and which have colourful “eye markings”.

The tails are used in mating or courtship rituals and it is believed females choose their mate based in the size, colour and quality of the tail “train”.

Technically males are peacocks, the females are peahens and together, they are known as peafowl.

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Their lifespan is about 20 years and the male tail can grow up to 1.5m, which, along with its wingspan, makes it one of the largest flying birds.

The Independent on Saturday