Celebrity rooster Mr. Clucky ordered out of Miami Beach; owner plans appeal
We told you last month about the troubles of Mr. Clucky, the rooster who became a local celebrity in his native Miami Beach because of his penchant for bicycle riding (he clutches the handlebars with his claws while his owner pedals). Clucky had run afowl (sorry) of local officials, who had threatened to force him out of town based upon a city code which prohibits keeping livestock in a residential area.
Clucky's owner, Mark Buckley, was ticketed by a code officer and told that he needed to get rid of the bird. (A second, less famous chicken named Wallflower was also ordered to leave Buckley's Miami Beach condo.) Buckley protested, and a host of Clucky's fans were outraged at the move to, er, snuff the rooster.
A hearing was held last Thursday to consider Clucky's case, and a small legion of his fans gathered for a candlelight vigil outside Miami Beach City Hall the evening before the hearing to protest the planned eviction.
Despite the support from animal lovers, Thursday's hearing didn't go as Buckley had hoped; a special hearing officer ordered him to pay a $50 fine and gave code officers the authority to remove Clucky and Wallflower from his condo. But the officer wasn't entirely unsympathetic; he also suggested that Buckley ask Miami Beach's City Commission to make a special exception to the livestock code for Clucky, the Miami Herald reports.
During the hearing, Buckley protested when the hearing officer refused to allow the rooster to testify. "But he's Exhibit A," he said. Eventually, Buckley's sister removed Clucky from the chambers, but his squawking could still be heard outside.
Although they're authorized to do so, the city's code enforcement team does not plan to forcibly raid Buckley's condo to remove the bird, city spokeswoman Nanette Rodriguez told the Herald.
According to a statement on Clucky's website, Buckley and his bird are "Still Optimistic!" and Buckley plans to appeal to the City Commission on Clucky's behalf.
Should Clucky be evicted, all won't be lost for the celebrity rooster -- Glenn Terry, founder of the King Mango Strut, an annual parade of oddities, has offered to take him in. Terry lives in nearby Coconut Grove, and Clucky once served as grand marshal of the King Mango Strut.
-- Lindsay Barnett
Photo: Buckley holds Clucky at Thursday's hearing. Credit: Alexia Fodere / Associated Press