Flying the coop: Peacock escapes Yellow River Game Ranch

Photo by Kristen Ralph

Photo by Kristen Ralph

LILBURN -- If you were driving in Lilburn over the last couple of days, you weren't hallucinating after all -- that was a peacock you saw trotting along.

Earlier in the week, Richard Pickering's 2-year-old peacock, Blue, escaped from the Yellow River Game Ranch, just a few days after he donated him there so he could, um, satisfy his animalistic desires.

"I guess their other peacocks are slow," Pickering said Friday, laughing. "Because they went in the cage to feed them and he went zipping right by them."

Pickering stumbled upon his new brightly feathered friend two years ago at the Pendergrass Flea Market in Gainesville, apparently being sold as food. The Forsyth County resident wasn't going to let that happen, so Blue went home with him.

"I didn't know the first thing about peacocks, I wasn't planning on buying a peacock," Pickering said. "But I wasn't going to let that bird suffer."

Since then, Blue has been trained to show his feathers on command and dance, with his back to the viewer and feathers a-shakin'.

Pickering took him to the Yellow River Game Ranch last week after his ever-increasing desire for a mate become apparent.

After Blue escaped, Pickering spent the last few days roaming the streets of Gwinnett (as was Blue) before animal control was able to reel the peacock in Friday.

He'll be back at Yellow River Game Ranch Saturday.

"He went looking for me I guess," Pickering said. "They saw him on Ga. Highway 124, he was sighted all over the place. He was on the roads, in neighborhoods. People were calling and calling and calling."