Why would anyone kill a beloved wild peacock mascot in a South Jersey town for no reason? Sadly, Popeye the peacock died on Friday after the wild bird was fatally shot in the leg in the Gloucester County township of East Greenwich.
According to the GoFundMe account, the colorful bird was an unofficial favorite of the area and could often be seen strutting his feathers around the mainly rural area. After Popeye was shot, he was rushed to a veterinarian for emergency treatment. Sadly, the bird was too seriously injured and had to be humanely euthanized.
More than $2,600 has been raised, and the vet treating Popeye has donated all of the money towards a reward to capture the bird’s killer.
“This is animal cruelty at its worst. But it’s also cruel to the kids and families who loved watching him every single day, year after year.
Please donate and help us catch the killer. Any amount will help,” the fund organizer, Mark Magazu wrote.
The East Greenwich Township police are asking for the public’s help finding the person responsible for the animal cruelty.
“We have received a report that a local friend to many, a wild peacock, was recently shot. Unfortunately, he did not survive the wound. The EGPD is seeking any information that may lead to identifying the individual who shot the bird. We also invite the person who discharged the firearm to self-report and present to the Department located in the East Greenwich Municipal Building. The shooting occurred this week, and you may report any information on gunshots to our non-emergency number – (856) 423-4322.”
The Saint Francis Veterinary Center of South Jersey has turned over the bullet retrieved from Popeye’s leg to authorities.
“There is no place in civil society – and especially not in our towns – for the indiscriminate killing of beautiful animals who enhance our lives each day. We agree with the people of East Greenwich NJ Community (Official Site) that a person who could shoot a beautiful and beloved animal like this is potentially dangerous to everyone. We will do everything we can to participate in efforts to find whoever did this,” the hospital posted on their Facebook page.
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