"A peacock walks into a liquor store." It sounds like the beginning of a joke, right? It turns out this funny setup is what happened at a family-owned liquor store in the Los Angeles area. On Monday, June 5, a female peacock--a peahen, to be exact--found its way into Royal Oaks Liquor Store in Arcadia. However, the wild bird could not find its way back out of the store. As the peahen tried to escape, it created a huge mess and destroyed about $500 worth of product along the way.
Rani Ghanem, the manager of the store, had no clue the peacock was in the shop until a customer asked about the chicken hiding there. Ghanem found the bird and tried to help it escape, but he had no luck. The peahen became startled and began flapping around the store. Ghanem called 911 to report the unusual intrusion, and an animal-control officer responded.
The animal-control officer used a large net to try to catch the peacock, but the large net seemed only to make matters worse. The bird went into panic mode and began flying from shelf to shelf. It took down a dozen bottles in its path. Rani Ghanem could barely watch the destruction, and said,
Finally, Rani Ghanem resorted to putting on a thick hoodie to protect himself from the bird's sharp claws, and he stepped in to catch the bird himself. Before capturing the peahen, Ghanem managed to capture some footage of the incident (perhaps to prove the extraordinary story happened when he told people about it later).
Rani Ghanem told reporters at KCAL he did not know peafowl could fly like that, so it surprised him when the bird flew up above the counter and onto the ice-cream freezer. He said the whole ordeal lasted about an hour and a half. Ghanem joked and said the peahen had expensive taste because she accidentally knocked over about $500-worth of product from the liquor store. Ghanem teased that he usually subscribes to the "you break it, you buy it" motto, but in this case, the culprit got away with the crime.
Although this story is goofy, it turns out there are a lot of wild peafowl living in Arcadia. The city is but a dozen or so miles northeast of Los Angeles. The founder of Arcadia brought peafowl from India around the turn of the twentieth century. These days, peafowl are protected animals in the region, and harming them results in fines, so it is a good thing Rani Ghanem took extra precautions to remove the bird safely. We bet he and the store's owners will be telling this story for a long time.