I grew up in Uxbridge, a small town of 13,000 people near the Rhode Island border. Uxbridge is the kind of place people drive through on a road trip without noticing they’d come and gone. Occasionally, though, there’s an incident of classic small-town antics that makes everyone buzz with excitement, and once, in 2018, that incident was called “Waldo”.
🦚 Waldo was a peacock. 🦚
Waldo wasn’t the first peacock to grace Uxbridge with its plumage. Twice, to my knowledge, in the little town of Uxbridge, peacocks have escaped their earthly confinements and run free. These were beautiful, hilarious times, and they featured more free-range peacocks than most towns ever see.
When I left Uxbridge and started filing Freedom of Information requests, I had one passion project I knew I had to see through. We need to better understand this peacock’s brief glimpse of freedom: the escape, the police chase, and the peacock’s untimely end. More importantly, maybe, we want to capture how a small town united around this bird and rooted for it against all odds.
To that end, we’ve requested police communications about fugitive peacocks in Uxbridge, Massachusetts and emails that contain the word “Waldo,” the brave bird that repeatedly evaded law enforcement until it was tragically hit and killed by a vehicle. We’ve also requested that autopsy report.
Uxbridge Police says they have these records. They have so many records, in fact, that it will cost me 115 dollars for police e-mails alone. We’re still waiting to hear back about any other relevant documents from the police or animal control. I’d be incredibly grateful for any amount of help you can put towards peacock justice, even if it’s only a dollar or two.
Donate below or via the request page, and thanks for your continued support.
Image via Uxbridge Police Department