DAVIS -- Visitors to a Davis park made a grisly discovery over the Labor Day weekend -- the carcass of a dead chicken that was apparently butchered on the spot.
There was little to draw attention to the picnic area of Mace Ranch Park by Tuesday but piles of trash, uneaten food and chicken bones were found left on picnic tables and on the ground.
Photographs posted on Nextdoor also showed a cardboard box with bloody chicken parts and a pile of feathers. It appeared the chicken was butchered, cooked and eaten in the park.
Some neighbors commented on the website, refusing to believe some could kill a chicken at the park. One person believed a raccoon probably killed and devoured the chicken.
A parks crew cleaned up the mess Tuesday morning but left behind was another pile of feathers next to a tree and more leftover chicken parts that were apparently cooked.
“Maybe someone was out for a fresh chicken barbecue. And did they clean up their mess? I don't want to pick up a dead chicken,” said parkgoer Blake Rodgers.
Davis city officials said they knew of no rule or law against butchering chickens or butchering them in a public place. The police department had to dig up a rarely used code.
“The city of Davis has a code in place, a municipal code, that actually does not permit for the slaughtering of animals in any city park,” said Davis Police Lt. Art Camacho.
That is not to say that’s what happened.
“All we have right now is information and some photographs that, in fact, somebody has left behind what essentially is refuse,” Camacho said.
Trashing the picnic area, including leaving raw chicken parts behind, is a more common violation of anti-trash dumping codes. While butchering a chicken in the park is a violation, the culprits may never be caught because the evidence has been thrown away by city clean up crews.
And the violation of etiquette, manners and thoughtfulness is not easily enforced.
“It’s a common sense sensibility toward your neighbors,” Rodgers said.