Anything boys can do, girls can do better – and that works for peacocks, too. A peahen did some pretty serious damage to a California liquor store on Monday, taking out about about a dozen bottles of champagne and wine. By ‘taking out’, I mean ‘smashing’ – it’s unlikely this bird was of legal age.
Store manager Rani Ghanem didn’t even know the peahen was in the store, until a customer asked him about ‘el pollo’, Spanish for ‘the chicken’. Ghanem very carefully tried to guide the wild bird out the door, but she spooked and flew up onto a shelf.
Peahens can reach three feet long and weigh up to ten pounds; each strong leg has three toes facing forward, one backward, with sharp, powerful metatarsal spurs known as ‘kicking thorns’ to defend against predators. If a peahen doesn’t want to leave a liquor store, it’s going to take some convincing.
Ghanem called 911, and stood back as an animal-control officer wearing gloves tried to snare the bird with a fishing net, and that’s when bottles started smashing. Ghanem said “He was trying to get it with the fishing net, and (the bird) jumped on the first wine bottle. When that happened, I was like, ‘Aw, this is about to be a big mess.’ He tried to get it again with the net … It just went straight diving into all the bottles. The more he kept on trying to use the net, the more it kept on flapping its wings and knocking everything over.” In all, the bird was in the store for almost 90 minutes and caused about $500 damage.
The store’s video camera caught it all – at the start of the video you’ll see the peahen in the top left corner shelf; the control officer spends a few minutes gently trying to scoop her up, and the smashing starts at 5:00;