'Jealous' peacocks damage cars in Clyst St Mary

Peacock Image copyright AP
Image caption Local residents say in recent years the peacocks have increased in number and become more aggressive

Peacocks in a Devon village have been attacking cars by scratching and pecking at the paintwork.

The birds, that live around Bishops Court Estate in Clyst St Mary, near Exeter, and are mistaking their reflections for rival birds.

The peacocks are thought to be wild and have been targeting dark-coloured vehicles.

Local residents said in recent years the birds had increased in number and grown more aggressive.

Penny Hill, a business support manager at a nearby business estate, said her Audi TT was repeatedly violently attacked by a peacock.

"The pecking has completely ruined the paintwork and it is going to cost around £500-£600 to fix," she said.

"They're attacking the car because it's mating season and they think the reflection is another bird which it's jealous of.

"I just want to know who owns the birds because they need to be restrained or re-homed."

Image copyright Penny Hill
Image caption Penny Hill's Audi TT was repeatedly scratched and pecked at by the birds

Stephen Fricker owns a business on the same estate and has had his company car damaged by the birds.

"It's very frustrating they scratched all down the driver's side and had a good go at the boot," he said.

"It was that aggressive the bird ripped its own claw off and left the car covered in blood."

Image copyright Penny Hill
Image caption Cars were left with blood on them after peacocks damaged their claws and beaks

Mr Fricker said he had tried lots of ways to deter the birds but was unsuccessful.

"We put a mirror out so it would attack that but they still went for the cars, we're now having to use a car cover," he said.

"We've got two choices - shoot the poor things or re-home them, and they are beautiful creatures so we don't want to kill them."

Local residents are now contacting animal authorities to see what can be done.

More on this story