When Ed Redlich and his family found a peacock in their backyard last week, they did what any of us would do — they asked their nearby neighbors if they were missing a peacock. It turns out there are several peacocks living in the Hancock Park neighborhood. But when neighbors reported that in fact their birds were home, Redlich turned to social media to inquire if someone a little farther away might be missing a peacock.
One helpful neighbor suggested he check with Hollywood Forever, the historic landmark cemetery located nearby at 6000 Santa Moncia Blvd. Perhaps the peacock had some how flown the coop, as it were. Unbeknownst to Redlich, the cemetery is home to over 40 peacocks, Yogu Kanthaih, Chief Financial Officer and co-owner told the Buzz this morning when we stopped by to visit this amazing site of local history, home to Hollywood celebrities as well as civic pioneers. (Believe it or not, this reporter had never been there before!)
“We started with four birds about fifteen years ago and their numbers have grown over the years,” said Kanthaih. “They are like guardians of the cemetery.”
Peacocks are often seen as a symbol of immortality and the peacock theme is reflected in a small chapel at the front of the cemetery. But the birds are also quite popular with visitors, explained Kanthaih. “People love to see them roaming around.”
Hollywood Forever groundskeeping staff takes care of the peacocks, feeding them and encouraging them to roam the grounds, which are locked every evening. The birds have their own house for those occasions, such as a very large service or other event when the birds need to be safely caged. Every 45 days, a veterinarian comes to clip the birds’ wings, to make sure they stay within the 64-acre site. Kanthaih guessed that that’s when they realized one of the birds was missing.
Around the same time, Redlich contacted the cemetery saying he thought he might have their bird. The next morning, Hollywood Forever dispatched two groundskeepers to Redlich’s home to retrieve the missing peacock. Redlich and his family had been feeding the bird, who seemed to show up around dinnertime and depart in the morning so the groundskeepers ended up coming for several mornings before their arrival coincided with the arrival of the bird on Tuesday of this week.
Thanks to everyone’s efforts, this peacock tale has a Hollywood-style happy ending. The proud peacock is now re-united with its flock, thanks to the efforts of the Redlich family, who cared for the bird so it would keep coming back until they could get it back home.
And hanks to Ed Redlich, too, for sharing the photos below with the Buzz.