As It Happens

'Whoa, a peacock': Bird destroys $500 of booze in California liquor store

A female peacock has ruffled more than just feathers at a Los Angeles-area liquor store.
In this image made from cellphone video provided by Rani Ghanem, bottles tumble as an animal control officer attempts to net a female peacock that wound up inside the Royal Oaks Liquor Store in Arcadia, Calif. (Rani Ghanem via Associated Press)

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At first, Rani Ghanem was excited when a female peacock wandered into the California liquor store he manages.

"I was like, 'Whoa, a peacock," Ghanem told As It Happens host Carol Off. "Immediately as I noticed, I took my phone out. I was like, I gotta record this. My friends gotta see this."

But then, reality hit.

"When it took its first flight, that's when I realized it was gonna be a problem," he said.

When the peacock — or, more accurately, a peahen — strutted into the open door of the Royal Oaks Liquor Store in Arcadia on Monday, Ghanem at first tried take matters into his own hands.

"A couple attempts to try to get the bird out of the store that ended up in failure," he said. "All we did was make the bird go crazy."

So Ghanem, a 21-year-old college student whose family runs the store, called for help, and an animal control officer showed up with gloves and a fishing net.

That's when all hell broke loose.

The first thing Rani Ghanem did when he saw the bird was whip out his phone to film it. (Rani Ghanem )

"So when the Humane Society tried to get it with the fishing net, the bird kind of panicked and started to jump through the shelves," Ghanem said.

"It was swimming through those bottles. I mean, bottles getting knocked down left and right, and I'm on the other side of the counter just looking heartbroken every time a bottle falls."

What's more, the peahen had expensive taste.

"Oh, it went straight for the Moët," Ghanem said. "I mean, you're looking at a $60-$70 bottle right there. That's the first thing it hopped off for."

Rani Ghanem had a close encounter with a peafowl at his uncle's liquor store on Monday. (Rani Ghanem)

At one point, cellphone video taken by Ghanem shows the officer catching a wine bottle in the net as the bird crashes through a shelf and a dozen bottles shatter to the ground.

Unable to watch more destruction, Ghanem puts on a sweatshirt to protect himself from the bird's claws and helps the officer ensnare it.

"I see the claws on that bird, and they didn't look like something you should be near at all," he said. "If those things touch anything they're gonna do some damage."

He said they took the bird outside and that it was unharmed.

In all, Ghanem said the peahen was in the store for 90 minutes and broke $500 worth of the family store's best bottles, including champagne.

But the hardest part was probably trying to explain it to his boss/uncle.

"I had to explain it about three times for him to believe it," he said. "I'm like, 'Just turn on the news later on. You'll see.'"


Correction: An earlier version of this story said the female peacock broke bottles of Molette (a white French wine grape planted primarily in the Savoie region). In fact, the peahen destroyed bottles of Moët (a French winery that produces champagne). 

With files from Associated Press


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