A two-year-old peacock has died after being chased by a dog in a Fife park.
Xander broke his neck when he flew into a glass partition at the Peacock Rooms Cafe within Pittencrieff Park last Tuesday.
In response to the tragedy, the Peacocks in Pittencrieff Park group is calling on all dog owners to keep their pets on a leash while in the area.
Suzi Ross told STV News: “Dogs do not have to catch a peacock to kill it.
“If they chase after a bird that is enough to put it into shock and panic, in this case Xander into the glass.
“It is a horrible noise to hear a peacock being chased – a noise that you don’t forget in a hurry.”
Peacocks have been in Pittencrieff Park since 1905.
Ms Ross said: “In 1907, a constitution was made that the park has to have a peacock in it at all times.
“It was at this time that the peacocks were given the key to the town and have the freedom to roam around.
“It is not unusual to see a peacock or two when in the town shopping.”
Xander and fellow peacock Katie were brought into the aviary when they were just six-weeks-old.
Ms Ross said: “We had a six-week-old chick already, but we wanted to get a couple in so Louis would be socialised, which worked out great.
“They are all extremely close.
“When they arrived, the two white ones were sickly – it took us steaming and disinfecting the nursery every day, sometimes twice a day.
“Having to catch them for their meds every day – when they are that young, they are like whippets on two legs. Thankfully they got through it and grew into strong healthy birds.”
Following the loss of Xander, there are now 24 peacocks left.
Ms Ross said his death was an “enormous loss to all the volunteers and the people of Dunfermline”.
She added: “Xander was just coming into his prime.
“He was two-years-old and would have been ready for breeding with next spring.
“His beautiful tail was coming in gorgeous, a very handsome boy.”
Ms Ross said there are signs up at every entrance to the park to keep dogs on leads.
She pleaded: “Please, dog walkers, keep your dog on its lead.
“There is a place at the bottom of the park for dogs that the leads can come off, but while walking around [keep them] on a lead – not just for the birds, but for young children and the elderly, and there are adults that don’t like dogs.
“There have been incidents of children being hurt by dogs running into them.
“The park was donated by Andrew Carnegie for the people of Dunfermline – not for dogs to run around chasing peacocks, squirrels or any wildlife.”
A Police Scotland spokeswoman said: “Around 9.45am on Tuesday, August 31, a report was made to police that a peacock had been killed by a dog within Pittencrieff Park, Dunfermline.
“Enquiries were carried out and it was established that the bird had been startled by the dog, not physically attacked, and had injured itself and died as a consequence.
“No criminality has been established and advice and assistance has been given to all parties involved.”