BLACKROD is in mourning after a popular peacock was 'killed by an animal'.

Pedro the peacock was adopted by the whole community when he first appeared three years ago. And that community now wants to show how much he meant to them by holding a funeral service and giving him a gravestone.

“The village loved him,” said Mr Gareth Hughes who, like the majority of residents, viewed Pedro as so much more than a bird.

“He was a real colourful character. He was part of my family, in fact he was part of the village’s family.”

Pedro was so popular he had his own Facebook page with more than 100 followers.

His remains were found in the village cemetery on Tuesday morning.

“From his injuries, it looks like he was attacked by another animal,” said Mr Hughes.

Pedro was one of nine peacocks kept by a villager. But along with Percy the peacock, he liked to spread his wings and went free range, making a new home in the grounds of the vicarage.

“He roosted in the trees and would spend his days wandering around the village and meeting his fans. His owner couldn’t catch him but we were all happy to have him pottering around, he became a real part of the community,” said Mr Hughes, who lives in Vauze House Close.

He did give villagers a few sleepless nights though, and it was nothing to do with his piercing cry.

“About two years ago he fell from a tree into the road and was hit by two vehicles. We took him to the vet and he convalesced in a neighbour’s shed where Percy used to visit him, it was like visiting time at a hospital."

Mr Hughes admits to shedding a tear when he learned of Pedro's demise.

On behalf of the community, he has been in contact with Bolton Council which has given permission for Pedro to be buried in the cemetery where he was found.

"There will be a gravestone marker and it's possible we may hold some sort of memorial service," said Mr Hughes.

"He has left a hole in the village and we will never forget him."