The three peacocks which have been a regular sight at the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine celebrated their last day on the grounds on January 21 with a family-friendly carnival.
After years on the cathedral grounds, the elegant birds will be heading to an animal sanctuary in South Salem, NY. The carnival was held to give people “a chance to admire the peacocks one more time and celebrate how important the peacocks have been to them and to this place, and say a formal but fun farewell to the peacocks before the good people at Animal Nation take them there for their final years,” says Very Reverend Patrick Malloy, Dean at the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine.
The peacocks’ striking plumage and piping calls have been a regular fixture of the Morningside Heights neighborhood since 1973, when the cathedral adopted its first set of birds given as a gift from the Bronx Zoo. Since then, several groups of peacocks have lived on the grounds. Since the peacocks are especially dear to the hearts of the children at the Cathedral School, the farewell carnival focused on kids, giving them the chance to say goodbye to the beloved birds.
“Most people have never seen a peacock before, and certainly not seen a peacock outside of the zoo,” explained Reverend Malloy. “So just to be able to walk up to these birds and interact with them and see what peacocks do, especially when they open their tails...it’s just sort of this unexpected beautiful thing in the middle of the city.”
“Most people have never seen a peacock before, and certainly not seen a peacock out of the zoo.” Very Reverend Patrick Malloy, Dean of the Cathedral at St. John the Devine