Wayne Newton’s Peacocks Are Really Pissing Off His Neighbors

Las Vegas entertainer Wayne Newton owns a 40-acre ranch near the city called Casa de Shenandoah. Although Newton no longer lives at the estate — it now serves as a tourable museum focusing on his life and career — a bunch of peacocks do. And, as The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports, they’re really pissing off the neighbors.

April Juelke and her husband Chris, who live nearby on Smoke Tree Lane, claim that the birds fly over the ranch’s walls every morning and evening to squawk, scratch at cars, and poop everywhere. The day after they first moved in in the 1990s, “We heard something on our roof that scared us to death,” Juelke recalls. “We thought a burglar was breaking in, but it was a bunch of peacocks.” The peafowl also wander around the roads, presenting a potential hazard to motorists.

According to Newton’s attorney Jay Brown, the peacocks were already at the ranch when Newton bought the property in the ’60s. “We’ve never bought a peacock. We’ve never brought in a peacock,” he clarifies. But that hasn’t stopped between 20 and 30 peacocks from roosting there and making the property their home. And while Newton is amenable to removing them, he’s not taking the initiative. “These are feral peacocks,” Brown says. “It’s a neighborhood problem, not a Newton problem, in fairness.”

Bart Donovan, a member of the Paradise Town Advisory Board, doesn’t necessarily agree. “These things were born on the Newton property, they live there, they roost there at night,” he says. “As far as I’m concerned, they’re their birds.” But either way, it’s a problem. “My view is if we don’t stay on top of this, it will become more of a problem because the animals do breed,” says Commissioner Mary Beth Scow, who represents the district. “I know when I was out there I saw several young peafowl.”

While everyone is in agreement that the birds should probably go, the best way to actually accomplish that isn’t exactly clear. County commissioners reportedly spent over 30 minutes during last week’s zoning meeting discussing the problem, but no conclusions were reached. Commissioners instructed the county’s animal control division to work with Casa de Shenandoah and nearby residents to remove them on a continual basis, after which the birds will be given to the Animal Foundation. But how will they be removed?

“We didn’t give a specific method (of removal); we just gave that direction,” Scow says. “There has been progress, and we continue to expect there will progress so this neighborhood will no longer have this problem. That’s our goal.” Until then, they beat on, peacocks against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the neighborhood.

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