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Are Peacocks Aggressive – A Look At Peacock Aggression!

Although peacocks are rarely kept as pets, they are surprisingly robust and though birds meaning that the peacocks that used to be kept as pets in North America and Europe by the wealthy landowners have been able to multiply and spread.

Due to this, many towns and cities have a local peacock population that parents like to take their children too as a day out to see these beautiful birds.

This has resulted in a number of parents reaching out to ask if peacocks are aggressive or not so we have decided to publish this article to try and help as many of our readers as possible.

Not only can the information in our article below help to protect you when visiting peacocks but it can also help to protect the peacocks as most of the mistakes that people make can easily be avoided.

In addition to this, you also have to realize that even “tame” pet peacocks at large estates are not handled much and are often left to roam the grounds of the estate as they see fit.

This results in the acting almost identical to wild peacocks so always treat all peacocks the same even if you presume that they will be used to interacting with humans.

Are Peacocks Aggressive To Humans?

Although rare, some peacocks will be aggressive to humans, particularly male peacocks during the breed season.

Female peacocks can also be aggressive towards humans if they have recently hatched chicks but this tends to be much rarer than the males showing signs of aggression.

There are plenty of recorded incidents of peacocks being aggressive towards humans as well as attacking humans.

Although it can be difficult for a peacock to cause serious injury to a human if it is aggressive towards you, there have been recorded incidents of a peacock attacking and killing a person.

That said, most of the time peacocks are not aggressive towards humans and will often not try to bite or scratch you.

If you are taking your children around peacocks as a part of a day out though, you should watch your children closely as children tend to be loud and move quickly increasing the chances of a peacock being spooked and being aggressive.

Will A Peacock Attack You?

It is very rare that a peacock will attack you but there are some situations that will increase the chances of a peacock showing aggression.

This tends to be if you have the peacock cornered with no escape, if there are baby peacocks that have recently hatched around, and if it is the breeding season for peacocks.

If for whatever reason, you show aggression towards a peacock, this can drastically increase the chance of them being aggressive back towards you too, particularly in males.

This is why you have to watch your children closely when around peacocks as their loud sounds and rapid movements can easily be misinterpreted as aggression by a peacock even if the peacock is used to being around humans.

That said though, peacocks do usually tend to be peaceful animals for the most part and it is rare that there are any major incidents.

This is why so many places offer close-ups with peacocks due to the risk of attacks of aggression being so low while the birds are so beautiful and a close up with one often being a memorable experience.

Do Peacocks Bite Humans?

Peacocks can bite and scratch humans in very rare cases but damage is usually minimal due to the size of a peacock and their beak and talons not having been designed for use on prey.

Male peacocks are often more aggressive than females with most males offering a warning by flushing their tails out when they feel threatened before they will be aggressive.

If you are close to a peacock and it fans its tail out and starts to rapidly shake it then there is a good chance that it feels threatened by you.

You should calmly and quietly back away from the peacock if this does happen as the next stage for the peacock may be an attack but this is still rare.

Although peacocks can be very loud birds, they don’t always make sounds when they feel threatened so their visual displays have to serve as more of an indicator.

Unlike some animals, it is very rare for peacocks to attack humans from behind too so simply turning away and walking off may calm the situation but most people back away while facing the peacock so they have more chance to react to any aggression.

Has A Peacock Ever Killed Anyone?

A peacock attack on Vichai Thongto, 30 of Thailand in 1997 did result in head injuries and blood loss resulting in Vichai falling into a coma and eventually dying.

This is the only incident that we have been able to find of a peacock killing a human showing just how rare it has to be.

Even in that attack, Vichai was extremely unlucky as the peacock was able to damage blood vessels in his head. As this is very rare and peacocks not often going for the head or face, most peacock attacks result in a few scratches.

Even then, the vast majority of interactions with humans are peaceful and will not result in any injury at all.

The same goes for young children as a nip with the beak is often enough to send a young child running and preventing any further aggression from a peacock.

Due to the size difference between humans and peacocks, it is rare that a peacock will pursue after an initial display of aggression too if it has a way to escape the situation and get to safety.

Are Peacocks Aggressive To Dogs, Cats, Chickens, And Other Animals?

Peacocks can be aggressive towards other animals more often than they are to humans, especially with dogs and cats. Even well-intended dogs can be perceived as a predator and result in adult peacocks attacking them to protect themselves of their young.

Due to dogs and cats usually approaching head first when investigating a peacock, any bites or scratches can result in more damage then they would if they landed on a humans leg.

If you do you have your dog out for a walk and come across a peacocks then keeping your dog as far away from the peacocks and as close to you as possible is the best option.

There have been a number of situations where people have left their dog to run around off its leash and lost the ability to instantly pull it back when encountering wild animals out on their walks.

This is just another reason that you should always try to keep your dog on its leash if possible so you are able to take action and pull your dog back from a potentially dangerous situation.


That brings our article going over if peacocks are aggressive or not to a close. The vast majority of interactions between humans and peacocks are peaceful and without issue but as always, it is the small minority that result in an attack that catch the headlines of the media. This is why you may see a news report about a peacock attacking someone but even these tend to be very rare.