'The peacocks are vandalizing our cars'

UNION GAP, Wash. -- A group of unusual suspects has grabbed the attention of law enforcement. Officers say it's time to chase the pack out of town -- they just aren't sure how.

Police say in the past few months they've received several calls about the "animals." They're accused of scratching cars. One woman even reported damage.

But it's not a bunch of car prowlers -- rather a group of wild peacocks.

Watch: Peacock attacks car

The peacocks have run wild in Union Gap for years. But, recently they run in and out of traffic causing people to slam on their brakes.

Their high-pitched mating call has also been disturbing.

"There's been six, seven cars backed up waiting for them," said Lisa Hampton.

"It sounds like a cat, like a really loud cat," said neighbors Austin and Torri Deleone.

Todd Pulse said the peacocks gather on his property on S. 3rd Avenue. Most people think they're his, but he says that's not true. He just can't get rid of them.

"I move them around, chase them around, but that's all you can do," Todd said.

Todd says most people might think he's cruel for wanting them gone. But Todd says he's the one who has to deal with them.

"There's complaints all the time. The peacocks go across the road. I would like to see them be relocated," Todd said.

Police say they feel like a pretty bad accident can happen if the animals keep darting in and out of the busy streets near Ahtanum Road.

Police say they still aren't sure what they'll do with the peacocks. A sanctuary is willing to accept them. The trouble is police would have to catch them first.

Catching them is something Todd's been trying to do for years.

In spite of the trouble, some say the animals should stay.

"Sometimes you have to slow down when you're crossing the street, but they seem generally harmless," said Cherree Dilley, owner of nearby Cherree's Espresso.

"I think they should stay. It's part of nature," said Lisa.

A part of nature...with law enforcement on its tail.

UPDATE: The city of Union Gap now says they plan to install "Peacock Crossing" signs. The city released this statement after KIMA first aired the story:

The City of Union Gap announced, today, that it has contacted the Washington State Fish and Wildlife Department for suggestions for dealing with the city's wild peacock problem. A gaggle of wild peacocks have taken up residence along Wide Hollow Creek adjacent to Ahtanum Road near the 3rd Avenue crossing in Union Gap. The birds are descendants of tame peacocks that escaped into the wild many years ago.

The Union Gap Police Department, responding to reports of peacocks attacking cars parked in the area, contacted Morgan Grant of the State Fish and Wildlife Department. Mr. Grant stated that the wild peacocks should be treated just like wild turkeys but may actually be more dangerous. City officials believe that the attacks on cars may come from the peacocks mistaking their reflections in the finish of cars as rivals for the attention of female peahens. During the mating season, April to September, peacocks may become aggressive. The city is working with landowners seeking to relocate peacocks resident on their properties. The city will be installing "Peacock Crossing" signs in the area to alert motorists to be on the lookout for the birds.