GROWING numbers of peacocks wandering wild around Sussex are proving such a problem that a wildlife charity is pleading for people not to call for its help.
The attractive but noisy birds are annoying people with unwanted early-morning alarm calls.
Previously, complaints have been made about the unpopular feathered visitors at Hurstpierpoint and now a furore has erupted over one that has taken up residence in a garden on the Haywards Heath-Lindfield border.
There have also been sightings of peacocks - thought to have escaped from captivity - in Ditchling, Wivelsfield, Chailey, Plumpton, and Newick.
So many calls have been made to the East Sussex Wildlife Rescue and Ambulance Service that the charity is now saying it does not have the time, money, or people to deal with all the calls.
Founder Trevor Weeks said: “We are wildlife rescue, and peacocks are not British wildlife, therefore we do not have a remit to deal with them.
“It would be better to contact an animal charity which deals with pets and exotic animals rather than us.
“We have always tried to help out as much as we can with non-wildlife calls, but with the development of our new hospital over the past few years we just don’t have the time, money or resources to deal with these rescues.
“These calls take a lot of time, and the birds can be very difficult and impossible on occasions to catch.
“We have had over 40 calls in the past three weeks about peacocks and some of the callers have been very understanding and genuinely concerned about the birds’ welfare, but most of them have been from frustrated residents being woken up in the mornings by the peacocks calling.
“They then take their frustration out on WRAS volunteers over the phone because they can’t find anyone to help, on several occasions I have had to put the phone down as I am not prepared to tolerate being spoken to so badly.”