For veterinary surgeon Richard Edwards, dealing with injured or dead animals is a common occurrence, but when a family pet is allegedly shot while it sleeps only to be eaten for Christmas lunch — it is 'extremely upsetting'.
After hearing a commotion in the garden of his home in Slindon Bottom Road, Arundel, the Bognor-based vet came across only a mess blood and feathers.
The incident took place outside his home at about 9.15 last night and Sussex Police has been informed.
Mr Edwards said: "They are a part of the family. It's extremely upsetting.
"We have got a Ring door bell which doesn't extend to the road but it recorded someone shining a light up into the tree and then four or five minutes later several of the peacocks all started getting agitated.
"By the time I got outside there was nobody there just a pile of feathers and some blood on the ground."
Worse still, this is not the first time Mr Edwards has had to deal with a murdered peacock and in January 2020, as reported by this newspaper, he had to deal with an almost identical crime.
"It was done in the same way," he said, "the problem is it is done at this time of year because there are no leaves and it makes it a lot easier to shoot them.
"We had seven, we now have six, the mate is making the most pitiful sounds — it is so so sad.
"I am hoping that maybe someone will come forward with some information. The timing suggest that someone has killed it Christmas lunch."
"They produced babies this year and we have got two little babies who were sitting up next to him when he got shot."
Taking to social media to ask for witnesses to come forward, Mr Edwards posted: "Anyone turning up with a dead male peacock, presumably for eating, please let me know.
"For the second time in two years someone has shot and killed one of mine. I am offering a substantial reward for information leading to a prosecution."
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