Thank you to the people of Souris for responding to my call for information! I would now like to put out a request for anyone who may have information on the old King Edward Hotel that operated in Souris from 1904-1967. If you know anything about the hotel, or know someone who does, please contact Nicole by visiting The Plum, on Facebook @ThePlumVisitorCentre, or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Without further adieu, here is the rest of the story about how the peacocks came to Souris…
The first pair of peacocks was brought to the bird sanctuary at Victoria Park in 1984 or 1985. The population steadily increased until one cold night in the early 1990s when someone broke into the old peacock barn. Some peacocks were killed and had their tail feathers removed, while others broke through the old windows and died from exposure to the harsh prairie winter. The surviving peacocks were able to carry on and increase in numbers throughout the rest of the decade.
The size of the peacock muster living in Souris has continued to fluctuate over the years, requiring some additions to be brought in. This was the case in the fall of 2010, when hungry coyotes killed a number of the peacocks before they were put into their winter enclosure. With the destruction of the Bird Sanctuary in the 2011 flood, peacocks left the park and ventured to other areas of town – this was when their presence in Souris became well known. There was a single pair remaining by 2014 and more peacocks were brought in, from areas near Neepawa and Winnipeg, to increase the muster yet again.
Nineteen peacocks were let out of their winter enclosure in Spring 2018 to roam in places beyond Victoria Park. Four chicks have been spotted around town, indicating that the muster will be healthy for years to come. Special thanks to Marilyn Forsyth, Randy Janz, and Jim Ludlum for helping solve the mystery of when the peacocks arrived in Souris. As a reminder, the peacocks are considered wild animals. Please do not feed, harass, or intentionally harm them. If you spot an injured peacock, contact Jim Ludlum.