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Last Updated: Tuesday, 5 June 2007, 17:32 GMT 18:32 UK
Zoo culls peacocks in noise row
Paignton Zoo
The zoo said staff had been upset by the cull
A south Devon zoo has culled seven noisy male peacocks following a series of complaints from a neighbour.

Paignton Zoo's peacocks are a symbol of the 80-year-old institution.

But complaints about the exotic birds from a man whose garden is near a tree where the birds roost, had been going on "almost daily", said the zoo.

A spokesman said: "We have had to kill the birds who were making the noise. It was absolutely a last resort, we were pushed into it."

Some of the neighbours love the birds and some don't
Simon Tonge
A vet humanely destroyed the birds by lethal injection.

The birds become noisy for just six weeks every May and June when they grow their tails and get territorial.

Simon Tonge, the zoo's chief executive, said: "We have a row of houses on the boundary and some of the neighbours love the birds and some don't.

"It has upset a lot of people and staff especially me as I am in the business of keeping birds alive."

An RSPCA spokesman said: "It is very sad that the seven peacocks were culled.

"It would have been preferable to find the birds a new home. According to reports, the zoo tried without success over a considerable period of time to find new homes for the birds.

"It is an awful situation, but as long as the birds were treated humanely and slaughtered humanely and there was no unnecessary suffering caused to them, the RSPCA would not take action."

Paignton Zoo said the cull was a last resort

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