Hurricane Florence claims Oakdale Cemetery peacock

View The Original Article Here

The caretaker of neighboring Pine Forest Cemetery found the peacock’s dead body.

Add Blueberry the Peacock to the list of Hurricane Florence casualties.

Eric Kozen, the superintendent of Oakdale Cemetery, said Monday that the caretaker of neighboring Pine Forest Cemetery had found the peacock’s dead body.

The male peacock — definitely a male, since it squawked elaborate mating calls — had been hanging around in Oakdale, Pine Forest and adjacent Bellevue Cemetery since at least 2016.

Kozen, who lives in Burgaw, nicknamed the bird “Blueberry” because of the blue feathers on his head, and also in honor of the N.C. Blueberry Festival in Burgaw.

Susie Yeuell, who lives on North 16th Street near the Pine Forest entrance, said she and other neighbors had been leaving food for Blueberry for years. The peacock was wary of humans, but frequently surprised visitors at all three cemeteries.

Yeuell said Blueberry had been limping from a leg wound. Kozen said the peacock perched high in trees on the property, which apparently kept it safe from predators for a long time.

“I haven’t heard him in more than a month,” Kozen said. “He quit doing his mating call, so all you heard was the occasional yelp.”

Reporter Ben Steelman can be reached at 910-343-2208 or