Officials on Tuesday released an artist's sketch of a man who they say shot and killed a peacock from his Mercedes-Benz, adding to the mounting two-year death toll for the birds that have called the area home for decades.
A witness told officials that the man, who was driving a silver Mercedes sedan, stopped at about 8:20 p.m. July 9 in the 27000 block of Eastvale Road on the Palos Verdes Peninsula and fired a pellet gun from the driver's seat, killing a peacock that was standing in a driveway.
The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Los Angeles released a sketch of the man Tuesday as well as an appeal for the public's help in identifying him.
More than 50 of the exotic birds have been killed or injured over the last two years in the Palos Verdes Peninsula and Rolling Hills Estates areas. While some of the peacocks were killed accidentally, a significant number of the deaths were intentional, prompting an investigation by animal control and law enforcement officials.
The peacocks — which were imported to the Palos Verdes Peninsula a century ago — are a rustic part of life for many in the upscale suburb, but the birds have detractors who complain of their noisy, aggressive disposition.
For decades, the city and surrounding peninsula communities have tried to keep the peace through regulations, education programs and behavior modification for the birds.
But two years ago the situation turned violent and peacocks started turning up dead, killed with arrows, bullets and slingshots, authorities said.
The man in the July 9 incident was described as a white, 50 to 60 years old, with receding gray hair. He was wearing a white-collared shirt and aviator-style sunglasses.
Anyone with details about the suspect is urged to call Cesar Perea, director of SPCA-LA Animal Protection Services, at (323) 730-5300, ext. 272. To remain anonymous, call the animal cruelty tip line at (800) 540-7722.