THE unexpected death of one of Mount Eliza’s most loved residents, Percy the peacock, has elicited an outpouring of grief from residents who knew and loved him.
Expressions of sadness and anecdotes about Percy, right, and his local travels flooded local Facebook pages this week as news spread that he was found on Thursday (16 December) with injuries so severe he had to be euthanised by a vet on the following Monday.
It is believed he was hit by a car and sought sanctuary in long grass until found by residents concerned that he had not been seen for four days.
While little is known about his early days, the beautiful, gentle bird has been strutting the streets of Mt Eliza for about 40 years.
Stories of his quirky habits were shared, along with photographs of Percy roosting in backyard trees, trotting across rooves, or even tapping on doors in the hope of a snack.
His presence brought happiness to many, from residents who fed him treats of sunflower seeds, to students from nearby schools who would stop and talk to him as he wandered past.
Koetong Parade resident Philippa Young remembers Percy visiting her family by landing on the roof during some renovation work.
“After scaring the lady who was measuring our deck – Percy had wandered across our roof before we heard a big bang out the front to find that he had used the lady’s car to soften his landing – we never did get the quote. I think Percy scared her off,” she said.
Dawn Whittaker has lived in Kunyung Road for 30 years and developed a close bond with Percy.
“He used to sleep at night in my gum tree in the backyard, but when the tree became dangerous and had to be cut down he just went to a house a couple of doors up and slept in their tree,” she said.
“But he would still come to see me daily for his snack – he led a very good life and would feed at numerous places around the neighbourhood.
“Everyone is shattered, I have had so many people ask about him and tell me how sad they feel that they will no longer see or hear him – everyone adored him and it’s such a tragic loss.”
Other residents said Percy was a regular visitor around Rutland Avenue and Bethanga Street, with some remembering their interactions with him as children in the 1980s.
So great is the loss felt by the community there are suggestions of dedicating a public mural or a mosaic to Percy, and a local school art teacher has offered to be involved.
As to his origins, some say Percy may have escaped from the Ansett Estate as a chick, or possibly the Morning Star estate, which also used to keep peacocks. Others suggest he may have belonged to a local couple but enjoyed his freedom too much to be contained.
One thing is certain, he left his mark on many. RIP Percy.