Motorists in a small Devon town have been subjected to a spate of car vandalism from an unlikely source. Rather than have their vehicles damaged by drunken hoodies on a boredom-fuelled rampage, the cars are instead being attacked by a muster of jealous peacocks.
Locals in Clyst St Mary have found their cars pecked and scratched – resulting in thousands of pounds' worth of damage – by peacocks on heat, which are mistaking their own reflections for mating season rivals.
The brightly-coloured birds have long roamed wild around the nearby Bishops Court estate, but local residents have reported that they have become more aggressive in recent years.
Motorist Penny Hill, whose car was attacked, told The Guardian: "The peafowl roam around the area, which were presumably introduced at some point in the past.
"The peacocks, although beautiful to look at, are becoming an incredible nuisance particularly around this time every year as they are attacking and damaging vehicles. They are aggressive, territorial and intimidating.
"My nice clean car sat in the car park and a peacock spent all day attacking its reflection thinking it was another bird and becoming territorial as it's mating season.
"I am not the first person working on the estate that this has happened to."
The Bishops Court estate has distanced itself from the angry birds, claiming that they are wild.
"They absolutely do not originate with us," a spokesperson said. "They are just wild. I don't know where they come from. It is like asking where the robins or the foxes come from."