West Country Village To Hold Funeral For Duck
Desmond Drake became a local celebrity in Compton Martin, Somerset, after frightening other birds in the village pond for 25 years.
He was also known for his ability to eat large amounts of stale bread and cake, residents said.
But all that came to an end when villagers found a pile of feathers near the pond - and discovered Desmond had been eaten by a fox.
A notice went up in the local pub, The Ring O Bells, announcing Desmond had "sadly passed this week".
The pub said a wake will be held this week to remember his years in the village.
Resident Andrew GriffithsÂ said DesmondÂ was a "village icon" and there was even a local society named after him.
"He will be sadly missed, both for his propensity to consume stale bread and cake, along with his ability to toss upstart young moorhens all over the place," he told the Western Daily Press.
"He has been a permanent fixture of the pond, for in excess of 25 years, outliving all his contemporaries.
"He has brought much joy and happiness to people of all ages. He will be sadly missed and so can never be replaced.
"We said we would have a wake for the duck. When we decide to do it we will drop the flag to half-mast on the church.
"We will all have a drink in the pub. He was a very long serving duck and member of the community.
"He became family, he became a village icon. There was even a little society, the blood of the duck, and we would drink whiskey with a duck egg in.
"Lots of people have been giving their condolences since his death."