Dennis Fett with three-day-old peafowl chicks. (Photo: peafowl.com)

Sullivan Heights

Mr. Peacock from Iowa willing to take Surrey under his wing

Peacock expert once helped Hugh Hefner with some problem birds at his Playboy Mansion

SURREY — A peacock expert from Iowa who once helped Hugh Hefner deal with some problem birds at the Playboy Mansion in California says he’d help Surrey out with its situation in Sullivan Heights, for a fee.

Dennis Fett, aka Mr. Peacock, charges $1,500 a day plus expenses for his specialized services. He said Surrey had not, by this time of writing, hired him.

At 5:30 a.m. on the day we spoke with him, he said, he’d received a call from Ireland from someone seeking help with some peacocks there. “Where they’re not supposed to be, there’s going to be people who love them and people who hate them,” he said of the fancy big birds.

Fett said he’s aware of Surrey’s situation. “If they don’t have a specific plan, even if they hired me to help, they still have to follow through with the plan.

“I’d help them, are you kidding? I don’t want to see people who love peacocks be hurt by this and especially the people who hate the peacocks. I helped a lot of people in California for probably two decades, 24 years roughly, dealing with their peacock problem out there. Ultimately if they need to be relocated, I don’t know how it’s going to work shipping them from Canada to the U.S.”

“If we can set up an adoption service, and there’s a way that they can ship the bird very simply, I assume the mail would work the same way, your postal service is similar, I don’t know if the regulations will work but there is a way to ship them,” Fett said, “and I don’t know if it gets special permission they can ship them here to the U.S., I had two or three dozen people, no lie, after the Miami situation that would adopt, you could adopt out 200 to 300 peacocks easily but people never followed through with any of the plan.”

“Both sides have to give and take, and they’re going to have to work together,” Fett said. “And there going to need some education about the birds too, predictable behaviours. I would be willing to help them.”

He and he wife Debra live in Minden, Iowa. He’s originally from New Jersey and is a retired public school music teacher.

“I’ve written more about peacocks than anyone in the whole world ever, since 1980.”

The book “The Wacky World of Peafowl” was written by him and his wife. “There’s nobody else in the world that does what we do.”

Fett said in Surrey he would assess the flock, find out how many birds there are, and the residents would have to decide how many to keep in the male-to-female ratio.

“The New York Times back in ‘92, this is what they said, I don’t always believe the New York Times, even though they wrote about me, but they said I had an encyclopedic knowledge about peacocks, and that was in ‘92 so I’m a little older and a little smarter.”

“I could relocate a good hundred birds easily here,” he said, and maybe some in Canada too.

“You guys have to decide how many birds you want in the neighbourhood, what’s acceptable and what’s not.”

Fett said he helped Hefner with his birds in the 1990s.

“I was giving him advice on how to take care of the peacock poo, and all the problems associated with peacocks. They had a photo shoot with the Playboy bunnies coming up in a couple of days and so I spent tonnes of time with the curator of his menagerie of animals plus his gardener, head gardener, and that was pretty much it.”



tom.zytaruk@surreynowleader.com

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