Even New Yorkers famous for claiming they have seen it all say they have never seen this before, a peacock in their midst.
“I didn’t know what it was,” 7-year-old Jason Abraham told the New York Times, explaining why he slammed the door of his family’s car shut in fright when he spotted the bird in his Queens neighborhood.
The wayward bird has been spotted in the Kew Gardens Hills neighborhood of Queens for more than one week, strutting his exotic self around the streets, rooftops and front yards.
The peacock was first spotted by residents 10 days ago and is proving quite a sight for city dwellers more accustomed to seeing pigeons on their stoops.
The bird has proved elusive from captors and sparked something of a hunt among Queens residents in search of sightings. It has also raised concerns that a bustling city is not exactly the ideal location for an exotic animal to thrive.
“I was afraid it was going to get killed,” resident Jackie Herman told local ABC affiliate WABC. “It was walking in the curb alongside Jewel Avenue, heading into traffic and I just couldn’t stand the thought of it getting hit.”
Concerned residents have placed calls to 911 and 311 to report the bird but when officials have responded, the bird has been nowhere in sight.
With likely places like the Queens Zoo and the Queens Botanical Garden saying the peacock is not theirs, it could be that the bird is simply taking a summer vacation.
The Times reported that a nearby high school has an agricultural program that includes two peafowls, one of whom is known to escape.
“The peacock gets out and he comes back,” a secretary for the John Bowne High School in Flushing told the Times. “He wanders.”
A Department of Education spokeswoman confirmed to the paper it was “possible” the peacock could belong to the school and said the school was checking.