For the past two months, a very social peacock named Nicolai has been popping up in Summerland backyards, sometimes visiting for the day or staying longer.
Since early May, residents have been posting pictures of the bird lounging or showing its full plume asking, “Does anyone know who this peacock belongs to?”
Many responded that they also had a visit from Nicolai but no one claimed him as their own.
Critteraid animal rescue sanctuary in Summerland also received many phone calls and emails about the wandering bird.
“At that time we were unsure as to whether we could take him in due to having our own birds to consider (ducks and chickens),” said Critteraid director Caroline Ryan.
Critteraid was then called by Penticton Animal Control to see if they could help take in Nicolai.
“We reached out to Warren Peace Bunny Sanctuary in Lake Country to see if they had room for him but Annie, the owner, said we should try him at our sanctuary. They already had a male peacock and didn’t want them fighting.”
Annie told them how to care for a peacock.
“She also said we would not regret taking him in, so the decision was made,” said Ryan.
Critteraid’s president had set up a ‘peacock watch’ to rescue the peacock and bring him to the sanctuary. He was hanging out in Trout Creek. Three volunteers got the call where he was, and they successfully rescued Nicolai.
“He sat in the back of an SUV on a volunteer’s lap without a care in the world - not stressed at all, just looking out the window. We all fell in love immediately and spent the next two weeks in total awe of him,” said Ryan.
“He seems to like the pigs the best and hangs out in their pens with them.”
That was until Saturday morning, June 24, when he was nowhere to be found.
“We searched everywhere on the farm, but he was not with us. Amazing, how in such a short space of time, he has truly become part of our Critteraid family, and we were all very sad,” said Ryan.
Critteraid posted that their beloved escape artist Nicolai was on the lam somewhere and if Summerland residents could keep an eye out.
At Critteraid Nicolai is not caged and is free to roam where he wants.
“We want him to see the sanctuary as his home and would never clip his wings or cage him. He needs to be free but we are hoping with some time, he will see Critteraid as his family, and his home.”
By Monday morning the escape artist peacock was back at Critteraid on his own accord, in the pig pen where he likes to be without a care in the world.
“At 5 a.m. when our pasture crew started their chores, Nicolai was back,” said Ryan.
Critteraid has over 100 animals in their care from cats, dogs, horses, cows, goats, ducks, chickens, pigs, a llama, two alpacas and now, a peacock.
They are run by volunteers and rely completely on donations and purchases made through the Charity Shoppe in Summerland. To make a donation or find out more about their new animal sponsorship program go to their website at critteraid.org.
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