NORTH OLMSTED, Ohio — Take a closer look near the trees along Dover Center Road in North Olmsted, and you might find a local celebrity: Argus the peacock.
Snapshots of his sightings continue to spread on social media and have for quite some time, including on the "Argus, The North Olmsted Peacock" Facebook page.
Amal and Philistine Ayad are the owners of the runaway peacock. The family adopted Argus before he escaped from their property four years ago.
“He’s definitely the unofficial mascot of North Olmsted,” Philistine Ayad said.
Since then, the family has been unable to catch him, an illusive peacock who doesn’t let anyone get within a couple feet.
Amal Ayad bought Argus at a local bird farm as a pet, which is legal in Ohio. Peacocks, which are properly known as peafowl, are not native to the United States.
For the residents and employees at Joshua Tree Senior Living, Argus has been a welcome addition, despite being their loudest visitor.
“He yells all night and a lot of times during the day,” maintenance director John Skerritt chuckled. “I hear about him from second and third shift people. And I don’t hear about anyone else.”
Skerritt even built a makeshift shelter for Argus to help him survive during the winter.
For the residents at the senior center, Argus appears to have made a lasting impact, especially during the pandemic.
“Every day, it’s something about the bird,” employee Karen Reed said. “Did you see the bird this, did you see the bird that? With COVID-19 coming and the residents having to stay in their rooms and unable to come out or have family members, he’s made a big improvement in their happiness.”
While the Ayad family still jokes about one day catching Argus and returning him to his home, they told News 5 they’re proud of how the community has adopted their famous runaway.
“I think he’s just going to continue living his best life in North Olmsted,” Philistine Ayad said.
“Let’s leave him alone and do his thing,” Skerritt said. “Hopefully a girl shows up. That’s what he’s waiting for.”