ANIMAL LOVERS near Stafford fear the worst for a pair of beloved peacocks after gunshots were heard in the village.
The two male peacocks, named Raj and Taj by Brocton people, first appeared in the village in June 2013 and have made it their home. Many residents have taken to feeding the colourful birds, who have become so tame they freely wander into gardens and perch on the furniture.
But two weeks ago gunshots were heard, a villager said, and the birds have not been seen since.
The Brocton man, who asked not to be named, said: “On Monday 14 July, I heard two gunshots between 10pm and 10.30pm - these were close to the village centre and I feared that the peacocks had been shot whilst roosting. I last saw them on evening of July 11.
“They have developed into local characters, roaming all around the village. But some residents had complained about them. “
Staffordshire Police have been told of the incident, he added, and anyone with information can contact them on 101, quoting incident 155 of July 21.
Wildlife crime fighter Faye Burton, founder of the Rural Policing Liaison Group, has also been informed and said that anyone who wanted to give information in confidence could contact her on 07973 665996.
She added: “It is such a shame because they are such beautiful creatures. For somebody to wantonly go out and shoot them is awful.
“If they didn’t want them straying into a garden all it takes is a phone call to us and we will fetch them. I could have found a good home for them.”