West Side family reunited with peacock

July 12, 2011 (CHICAGO)

Fluffy recently took off after someone left the gate open at the family's home on California Avenue. After roaming around the West Side, the bird ended up at the city's Animal Care and Control headquarters.

Three people claimed to be the rightful owner after Fluffy's adventure appeared on television.

Animal Care and Control staff wanted to make sure the bird went to the right people. The Baez family knew Fluffy loves hot dogs, so when Gilbert Baez offered one, Fluffy gobbled it up. The staff was then confident the bird belonged to the Baez family.

Maryann Howard, an animal control officer, rounded up the peacock in the 3000-block of West 19th Street on Sunday after following the bird for several blocks. Howard says it was her first encounter with a peacock.

The bird also stunned people living in the neighborhood where it was found.

"I jumped back, and I'm like, 'Why is a peacock outside the house?' I thought it was a prank. I thought it was fake. Then when I looked it was just sitting there looking like, 'When are you going to open the door?'" Clifford Kenniel said.

"I'm like, 'It's an actual peacock? Are you serious?' And I had to put on my glasses 'cause I'm like, 'I can't see.' And when I put them on it was most definitely a peacock," Alexandria Wright said.

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