The tragic tale of Australia’s loneliest peacock: Mr P had a flock of female companions – until they all mysteriously disappeared
- The coastal suburb of The Gardens in Darwin is the home of a flock of peacocks
- But since the middle of May all but one bird has disappeared without warning
- Some residents fear the birds may have been shot by disgruntled locals
He used to be cock of the walk but those days are over for one feathered Darwin bachelor.
The peacock, named ‘Mr P’, was once surrounded by female companions but has sunk into a deep depression after they disappeared without a trace.
Peafowl have been flourishing in the coastal suburb of The Gardens in the heart of Darwin for over 20 years where they have been cared for by the community.
A steady population of around six birds started to disappear after a male bird went missing last year and the others have now followed.
A flock of peacocks who live in Darwin’s coastal suburb of The Gardens have slowly disappeared leaving all but one alone. Pictured is resident Catherine McAlpine
Sue Bradley has helped care for the birds and told ABC News the remaining bird known as Mr P has not dealt with the sudden disappearance well.
‘He’s feeling very lonely. And he’s crying. And he’s going a little bit off his food, because he’s lost all of his entourage,’ Ms Bradley said.
The three female birds, a mother and her chick have not been seen since mid-May to the distress of many in the community.
But not everyone loves the birds, with several people previously complaining to local authorities about noise issues and damage to their cars.
In response NT Parks and Wildlife department sent out flyers to the neighbourhood in November asking for feedback on the birds.
The department noted that the birds were classified as feral animals but owners did not need a permit to keep them.
‘It is our aim to firstly establish ownership and promote responsible pet management to either prevent further birds from hatching or reducing overall numbers,’ the letter said.
The three female birds, a mother and her chick have not been seen since mid-May. Pictured are some of the birds
After receiving mixed feedback the department decided not to take action but another neighbour Catherine McAlpine said she believes someone has decided to get rid of the birds themselves.
‘I was told it was quite possible someone had taken some action against them even to the point of shooting them,’ she said.
Ms McAlpine has shared her home with the birds for many years and she hoped that others could learn to appreciate them.
‘It would be a very sad indictment on society if people can’t see the small sacrifice for something beautiful,’ she said.
City of Darwin spokeswoman told the ABC while the birds are classified as feral they are still protected under animal welfare legislation.