- The Washington Times - Monday, July 2, 2007

NEW YORK (AP) - A peacock that roamed into a fast-food restaurant parking lot was attacked by man who vilified the bird as a vampire, animal-control authorities said.

The bird was beaten so fiercely that most of its tail feathers fell out and the creature had to be euthanized, said Richard Gentles, a spokesman for New York Animal Care and Control.

“It’s just unbelievable that someone would do something to a poor, defenseless animal and do it in such a cruel fashion,” he said.

The male peacock, which was several years old, wandered into a Staten Island Burger King parking lot and perched on a car hood Thursday morning. Charmed employees had been feeding it bread when the man appeared. He seized the iridescent bird by the neck, hurled it to the ground and started kicking and stomping the creature, said worker Felicia Finnegan, 19.

“He was going crazy,” she said, adding that the attacker explained himself by saying, “I’m killing a vampire.”

Employees called police, but the man ran when he saw them. Authorities were looking for the attacker, described as being in his teens or early 20s. It was not clear how the bird made its way to the restaurant.

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