AFTER days of pursuing Percy, the flap is over for a horrified community who managed to free a poor peacock who had been tied up with string.

It’s not known whether someone tied Percy up deliberately or tried to and he escaped – or he became tangled up himself.

But once the alarm was raised residents in Romanby, Northallerton, launched an all out search for the hapless bird, with the RSPCA on standby, along with a local wildlife centre.

Percy is a popular resident in the area and has been for the past five years hanging out around people’s gardens, along the railway line and near the Beechwood Care Home where he is well known to residents and care workers – largely because of his regular and loud calls for food.

Long standing supporter Gareth Smith said it’s thought Percy arrived in Romanby years ago after escaping from the Castle Hills area along with another peacock. The other bird was caught, but Percy has proved much more adept at maintaining his freedom.

Residents were shocked last week when pictures of Percy with his legs tied and tangled in wool or string emerged online.

One said: “I look out for Percy every time I walk past the nursing home, just can’t believe someone would be so evil. I don’t know how someone has tied his feet if he won’t let you near him, it’s very cruel, who would want to do that?”

Another added: “I can’t believe a human being would do this to an animal. Hang your heads in shame.”

After days of searching, Percy’s friends finally managed to untangle him thanks to his devotion to food.

Mr Smith said: “It’s great news for everyone and especially for Percy, After my next door neighbour managed to cut the string around Percy’s legs a couple of days ago I finally managed to entice him into my garden and whilst he was busy eating I managed to get all but one piece off his legs.

“He now only has one piece which is not restricting him at all.

“It’s really nice to see him just wandering around. We don’t know how the string got round his legs, and whether someone put it there and maybe never will. I think everyone is just relieved he is free to move about now.

“He has been back visiting all his old haunts and getting a feed from everyone and definitely seems to be getting back to his old self.”