ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A couple of humans are accused of acting like real animals at the Albuquerque zoo. They were spotted chasing and trapping a peacock to pluck a giant feather from it.
BioPark officials say typically guest respect the free-roaming animals. Witnesses say they watched in disbelief as a pair of teens made the peacock squeal in pain. “They were stomping on the back and he was just going and stomping on the back of his feather,” said Anna a concerned citizen who didn’t want us to use her full in this story.
She snapped a photo Wednesday after watching two teens chase a peacock near the zoo playground. “It happened pretty quickly the male stomped on the back of the peacock the peacock cried out and the feather came out and he picked it up,” she says.
Anna says by the time she alerted zoo security the teens were already gone. She posted the picture to Facebook and the post when viral. People were furious, calling the teens disrespectful. “I think its very bully behavior it’s not something you should be teaching your children to do at all,” says Yvonne Crollett.
BioPark officials say they are looking into the incident and APD is also investigating. The head of the BioPark says they have signs posted everywhere reminding people to respect the birds’ space. “We don’t really want people interacting with our peacocks they are really just to look at,” says Dr. Baird Fleming, BioPark Director.
Zoo visitors say they like seeing the peacocks roam around freely and they don’t want anyone to jeopardize the bird’s safety. “If you want peacock feathers I’m sure they sell them at gift shops around here, anywhere in town they are pretty popular,” Crollett says.
Anna hopes if the teens are caught, they aren’t allowed back in the BioPark. If you can’t be trusted around the wildlife or the animals here in the park then you shouldn’t be here it’s not normal behavior and it’s not ok,” she says.
Anna says her post got thousands of shares and hundreds of comments on Facebook but she removed the picture because of all the threatening comments made toward the teens. BioPark officials say they are reviewing security footage to see if the teens were ever caught on camera. A spokesman for APD says the teens could face charges for felony animal abuse.