The free-roaming peafowl at our zoo are the animals that I get asked about maybe the most. Partially it's because they're so popular with zoo visitors. It's also got to do with the fact that no one ever knows quite where they'll turn up... including me. Many zoos display free-roaming peafowl, but it looks like that may be changing.
Many of the factors that the author alludes to - pooping, predators, and pesky children - have always been around. What likely is driving the zoo community away from peafowl is the newest specter on the horizon - Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza, which has already done considerable damage to the poultry industry in parts of the United States. No one knows for sure how it will impact the zoo community.
No one is terribly eager to found out.
Some zoos have relocated or culled their flocks of peacocks because of such reasons as injuries to visitors and the risks of bird flu. (Jim Collins/ASSOCIATED PRESS)