BUTTERWORTH : Starting with 10 peacocks gifted by former Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono in 2004, D.Paranthaman now owns 200 peacocks and dreams of setting up an aviary.
Paranthaman, 45, said he worked at an oil palm plantation in Kalimantan, Indonesia in 2004 and joined the team of volunteers for search and rescue operations when the tsunami hit Aceh at the end of that year.
“As a token of appreciation for participating in the search and rescue operation, the Indonesian president presented me with 10 peacocks which were sent to Malaysia in 2012,” he told Bernama.
He has built a cage near his house in Taman Kimsar here for the birds.
“In 2013, I joined a nine-month peacock care course at a poultry centre in Bangalore, India,” said Paranthaman, who offers advice on caring for the birds to several resorts in the country.
Paranthaman said he has 200 peacocks of various species including albino peacocks as well as Pied and Black-shouldered peafowls from Spain.
He also spends about RM2,800 every month for feeds and medicines.
“My dream is to set up an aviary with a lotus pond in the open field near the house,” said Paranthaman who has the equipment to care and treat injured and sick birds.
He said the dream would be realised soon with the help of the Penang government and Perai assemblyman P. Ramasamy for the construction of Perai Peacock Echo Park at a cost of RM300,000.
Paranthaman said the construction of the park was still in the early stages and that he also planned to set up a souvenir shop with the proceeds from the sale to be used to finance the cost of keeping the peacocks.