A BUSY wildlife rescue charity has been inundated with calls from people reporting escaped peacocks across Wealden. Over the past three weeks WRAS has received more than 40 calls about the birds.
Most peacock calls the charity receives are from Uckfield, Buxted, Rotherfield and Crowborough but most of the more recent calls have been from the Pevensey and Westham area.
He says For the past three years there have been two or three peacocks around the Uckfield area roaming as far as Buxted and Ridgewood and believes people should take more responsibility for them, getting them microchipped if necessary so they can be traced back to their original owners.
Founder Trevor Weeks MBE said “We rescue wild creatures and peacocks are not British wildlife, therefore we do not have a remit to deal with them. It would be better to contact animal charities which deal with pets and exotic animals rather than us. We have always tried to help out as much as we can with non-wildlife calls, but with the development of our new hospital over the past few years we have neither the time, money nor resources to deal with these rescues. Peacocks can be difficult and impossible on occasions to catch.”
When the situation was explained to them, Trevor said some of the callers were very understanding and genuinely concerned about the birds’ welfare, but most of them have been from frustrated residents being woken up in the mornings by the peacocks calling. He went on: “They take their frustration out on our volunteers because they can’t find anyone to help. Several times I’ve had to put the phone down as I am not prepared to tolerate being spoken to so badly. Some people even think that we are part of the council, especially when local councils give out our phone number for such incidents, and as a result they think we are funded by the council and of course get aggressive towards us thinking we are a public service paid by their taxpayers’ money!”
And he said there are a number of much larger and exotic and domestic animal charities in and around Sussex who have better funding and more resources.