England

When animals 'go bad' - the 'criminal' creatures which made the news

Fox outside Alconbury club Image copyright Mark Magee
Image caption Mark Magee photographed the fox through a window from the safety of the club

A "vicious" fox which trapped eight people inside a sports club has become the latest creature to make the news for terrorising humans.

Eight people were stalked by the animal for three hours, and one man who tried to escape the furry captor was forced to fight it off with his bicycle after the fox gave chase.

It joins mischievous peacocks, a violent swan nicknamed Asbo and fugitive felines among the annals of England's animals "gone bad".

Here are some more that made the headlines.

A pesky peacock

Image copyright Other
Image caption 'Kevin' the peacock was accused of intimidating behaviour

A peacock called Kevin was accused of "making mischief" in Breadsall, Derbyshire, in June 2013.

His antics included trapping someone in the village's memorial hall.

"The person was trying to leave and Kevin wouldn't let them out," said resident Marilyn Balsom.

The villagers tried and failed to find the owners after Kevin turned up out of nowhere.

Two years later, Kevin is still causing trouble in Breadsall, although some villagers have come to love the feathered celebrity.

The Bishops Court Estate in Clyst St Mary, Devon, has also had problems with peacocks, which have been attacking cars by scratching and pecking at the paintwork.

The "jealous" peacocks are thought to be mistaking their reflections for rival birds.

A brazen badger bakewell bandit

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Media captionThe badger burglar made a quick exit when Geoff Taylor caught it on camera

A hungry badger was caught on camera when it sneaked into a house to help itself to a Bakewell tart in Midhurst, West Sussex.

The badger realised it had an audience then made a sharp exit through the kitchen catflap.

But he was not deterred from coming back on subsequent nights, forcing the resident to lock his catflap.

Back in 2003, a rogue badger attacked five people during a 48-hour rampage in Evesham, Worcestershire.

One man required two skin graft operations, and other victims included a man who was attacked as he walked home from a pub.

Oscar the 'Asbo cat'

Image copyright Other
Image caption Oscar the cat was given a herbal remedy to calm him down

Oscar the cat gained a reputation after a series of clashes with cats and dogs in the Buckinghamshire village of Wingrave.

His fame then spread when a local newspaper reported the pet had disappeared after being "under curfew" for scratching and biting a neighbour.

He was found 34 miles away in Northampton about three weeks later, kept indoors to restore village harmony and given a herbal remedy to calm him down.

A noisy neighbour

Image caption William the cockerel (left) was accused of crowing too loudly

A cockerel called William was served with a noise abatement notice last year - or rather, his owners were - because he was crowing too loudly in Eyam, Derbyshire.

Owner Phillip Sutcliffe said: "Apparently he crows too loud in the morning - he joins the dawn chorus with all the other birds in the area and one person has complained."

Mr Sutcliffe had tried to advertise William for sale and said he might have to kill him if there were no takers.

William's fate is unknown.

Squirrel squatter's handbag hostage bid

Image copyright Cheshire Constabulary
Image caption Police were called when the squirrel refused to leave the woman's handbag

A mischievous grey squirrel jumped into a woman's handbag at a pub in Chester and refused to leave - prompting her to call police.

Det Con Nigel Thake, who attended and managed to send the persistent animal on its way, was dubbed "Dr Doolittle" on the police's Twitter account.

Three angry birds

Image copyright Hunts Post
Image caption The "terrorist" pheasant in Cambridgeshire chased cats and dogs

A "terrorist" pheasant attacked vehicles and chased cats and dogs at Wood Farm in Hail Weston, Cambridgeshire.

One delivery driver was trapped for 20 minutes after the bird blocked his way, flew at the bonnet then chased his van.

The British Trust for Ornithology said the pheasant was protecting his territory but was "a little extreme".

He later turned up with a hen pheasant and was "tamed by love".

Image caption Phil the pheasant attacked family members but was more wary around visitors

Another pheasant, named Phil, started attacking members of a Shropshire family, forcing one of them to carry a badminton racket for self-defence.

Resolute vegan and animal lover Sally-Ann Hudson started feeding the bird in a failed bid to befriend him.

"He'll just have a go at me then, he'll launch at me, peck my feet or attach himself to my arm and just try to attack me," she said.

Another pheasant started attacking people in the North Yorkshire village of Newsham, with other targets including dogs, prams and cars.

The animal has also chased children from their school bus, and one villager said she was scared to go out.

A postman, who said he was frightened of the bird, described it as "a crackpot".

Three real cat burglars

Image copyright Newman/Drouet
Image caption Denis (left) and Theo are the scourge of their neighbourhoods

Theo the cat was responsible for a mini crime spree in Ipswich when he kept stealing items from neighbours' homes, including a phone charger, hand puppet, pen and a child's artwork.

His owners kept finding things around the home that did not belong to them, and had to post photos on Facebook to track down the owners.

Theo then started bringing home Christmas decorations pilfered from neighbours' trees.

The antics of a cat in Luton, called Dennis, have been well-documented on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

His owner said Dennis prefers to steal underwear but usually brought home gifts of Christmas wrapping paper - minus the contents - after the big day.

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Media caption'It was a very embarrassing note to write'

Another cat, Naughty Norris, prowled the Bedminster area, bringing home everything from sports bras and boxer shorts to dishcloths and sausages.

His embarrassed owner, Richard Windsor, wrote an apologetic note to neighbours explaining Norris's behaviour, and inviting them to reclaim their missing items.

Angry crow 'enraged by own reflection'

Image copyright Steve Russell
Image caption The crow did not recognise its own reflection and repeatedly attacked the sculpture

A crow repeatedly attacked a mirror sculpture at the University of Leicester, thinking its reflection was another bird.

Scratches began appearing on the sculpture within a day of an exhibition starting, while sixteen other sculptures in the exhibition remained unscathed.

Almuth Tebbenhoff, the exhibition's curator, said: "As its fury escalated it saw its reflection and became more and more aggressive.

"Isn't this how wars start?"

Asbo swan rages against rowers

Image caption Rowers asked for Asbo the swan to be moved from the river

An aggressive swan named Asbo was moved from the River Cam in Cambridge after his aggressive behaviour began to escalate.

In one of many reported attacks on rowers, the swan mounted a scull and capsized the boat.

Dr Philippa Noon, one of the Conservators of the River Cam, said he had started going for bigger boats and they were concerned his legs could be cut off by a motor.

"We are sad to see him go, because he had become a bit of a river character," she said.

'Hitchcock-style' seagull attacks

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Seagulls are a common sight in Liverpool

Pianist Paul Lewis was forced to pull out of concert after a swooping seagull caused him to injure himself.

He was leaving rehearsals with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra when he was startled, causing him to fall and sprain a finger.

In Bristol, the opening date of a Wahaca restaurant has been pushed back because seagulls have been pecking and defecating on builders.

Work was forced to stop because of the seagulls, which are thought to be protecting their young.

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Media captionPostal deliveries were suspended after a delivery woman was attacked by gulls

There have been numerous other reports of seagulls attacking people, with one attack in Folkestone described as like something out of a Hitchcock film.

In Cornwall, postal deliveries were suspended to a road after a delivery woman was attacked by gulls.

One man in Hull said he had been repeatedly targeted by a flock while walking on a cycle path and said they were the most frightening experiences of his life.

He described being followed for about a mile down the road in one incident, and flapping his arms to deter them another time.

Dr Viola Ross-Smith, from the British Trust for Ornithology, said the birds were a protected species defending their nests.

She said gull numbers were increasing in cities due to easy access to food and a lack of predators.

A petition was set up calling for action in Roundway, Wiltshire, where seagulls were said to be attacking people, leaving mess and keeping residents awake.

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