LEESBURG, Va. (FOX 5 DC) - A promiscuous peacock named Chip escaped his enclosure in Loudoun County more than a week ago and has since eluded his owners and several other neighbors who have tried to help capture the bird.
Chip the peacock spent the last two months living with chickens, ducks and getting to know the other peacocks at his home but apparently the call of affection was just too strong because his owner believes he's on the run searching for love.
"This is Chips first mating season and so he's basically the equivalent of a 15-year-old old boy and he's really excited about this first mating season," Kate Hogan explained to FOX 5's Anjali Hemphill.
Hogan said she was out of the country when Chip suddenly broke free from his cage and went off looking for love. Hogan's friend Kelly Rutowski was pet sitting on April 21 when she let out Viking the dog.
"Next thing I knew I heard lots of honking and I walked around that way and saw Chip on top of the roof instead of inside where he usually is and realized Viking has spooked him," Rutowski described.
Chip escaped through a hole in the netting and started jumping tree to tree before flying away, figuratively flipping Rutowski the bird.
"I did not know what to do and I was like 'Kate I lost your peacock,'" Rutowski recalled.
Thousands of miles away, Hogan put out a call on social media and the community responded. They've sent Hogan pictures and videos of Chip along his journey as he's been spotted in numerous backyards and trees over the last week from Lucketts to Taylorstown.
"He's been all over," Rutowski said with a laugh. "He's been a bit of a challenge to track down but if it wasn't for this community there would be no way."
"I'm amazed," she continued. "It's been remarkable at how many people are trying to help."
In the meantime, no one has been able to wrangle the elusive peacock yet so his owner is hoping to get out the word that the bird loves cat food.
"Like most men, food and sex are pretty high on the list for him," Hogan said. "When our last peacock went out he was caught at the back of someone's house eating out of their cat food container and flirting with their cat. He was showing and wiggling his butt for the cat."
"He's not at all aggressive but he's skittish and scared of people so the best thing to do is maybe shake a bowl of cat food so he knows it's there and put it at the mouth of the garage. If he goes in and shut the door," Hogan detailed.
If you're able to corral Chip somehow, you're urged to contact Hogan or animal control at (703) 777-1021.