A Peacock Tale: Slated for Euthanasia, Surgery Saves Marineland Animal

Petey the peacock after surgery, November 29, 2016

Petey the peacock after surgery, November 29, 2016

Two OSPCA charges against Marineland related to a single peacock shows the danger of judgements from afar, after a growth that appeared to be life-threatening turned out to be benign.

During its inspection of Marineland on November 10, the OSPCA noted a growth near the right eye of a male peafowl and ordered the company to have the animal examined by a veterinarian and follow any recommended course of action within two weeks.

The animal did not appear to be in distress; it had been eating well and interacting normally with the flock. Marineland called in a local veterinarian to examine the peacock, and an initial examination on site suggested euthanasia was likely appropriate.  Marineland and the OSPCA were both notified of this decision.

In preparation for this procedure, however,  a closer examination was performed, and in the opinion of the veterinarian it appeared that the peacock may respond to medical treatment. The veterinary staff had become attached to the peacock at this point, even naming him “Petey”. Surgery was attempted and while the outcome was uncertain, the growth was successfully removed.  Petey the peacock is now showing good signs of recovery.

This situation is an excellent example of what comes from jumping to conclusions from a distance. If even a trained veterinarian, viewing an animal from close range, could mistakenly consider a benign growth to be something life threatening, then it calls into question the claims of activist groups diagnosing these animals from California.

Self-proclaimed experts have mistakenly reported the deaths of park animals which remain healthy to this day, and misdiagnosed pebbles in deer hooves as shoulder inflammations. They often catastrophize simple ailments or falsely infer terminal illnesses from unflattering photographs. Changes in body size that are routine seasonal changes become false evidence of abuse and mistreatment to agenda-driven activists seeking to raise funds from well-meaning but misinformed animal lovers.

Marineland continues to provide high quality care for its animals, and disputes the charges levelled against it.