Drivers beware! 'Peacock crossing' signs go up in small Wash. town

UNION GAP, Wash. -- It's not your typical traffic warning.

"Peacock Crossing" signs are now up around the Central Washington town of Union Gap.

The signs recently went up on Ahtanum Road to alert drivers about a group of wild peacocks that has been darting into the roadway, backing up traffic and occasionally damaging cars with their claws.

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

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

Drivers tell KOMO's sister station KIMA-TV they have to slam on their brakes to avoid the birds crossing the street.

The city also is asking the state Fish and Wildlife Department for help with the feathered offenders, which are the descendants of tame peacocks that escaped years ago.

KIMA-TV reports some have been scratching cars when the peacocks apparently mistake their reflection as rivals for the attention of peahens.

Some residents also say their high-pitched mating call disturbs the peace.

The city is working with homeowners to relocate the peacocks to a sanctuary - if they can catch them.

But some residents say the animals should stay.

"They seem generally harmless," said Cherree Dilley, owner of nearby Cherree's Espresso.

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