One peafowl was killed in an early morning fox attack of its family’s Leelanau County pen on April 19. In a valiant attempt to protect them, peafowl owner Linda Smith chased the fox who eventually dropped the deceased peafowl. Two peacocks and five peahens fled, including family matriarch Esme Smith and her six grown children. Esme’s husband, Carlos, was killed in a similar attack the year before, rendering him to feathers.

Several days after the April 19 tragedy, an alert neighbor who lives some mile-and-a-half from the Smith compound, spotted a peacock hanging around her chicken coop. Having seen a post by Linda on the Leelanau County Lost & Found Pets Page about the missing peacocks, the neighbor surmised it was from the Smith muster, grabbed the peahen by the tail and returned it to its home.

Six peafowl, however, are still missing. On the evening of May 5, a photo of a beleaguered muster of peafowl appeared on the 7&4 News Hot Shot segment. It was snapped by a Steve Durfee. However, 7&4 meteorologist Mark Watkins (who oversees Hot Shot) had no contact information for Durfee.

The Smiths, including the lone surviving peahen, are desperate for news of Esme and her children. Please email Traverse Magazine editor, Jeff Smith, if you have seen them.

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