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Rare, Elderly Birds Stolen From Fresno Zoo

Zoo appeals for public's help, says both birds need specialized care
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 30, 2020 5:30 PM CST
Rare, Elderly Birds Stolen From Fresno Zoo
This photo provided by the Fresno Chaffee Zoo shows a Nicobar pigeon, one of two advanced-aged birds that were taken from the zoo's Australian Asian Aviary in Fresno, Calif., in the predawn hours of Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020.   (Fresno Chaffee Zoo via AP)

Two rare birds stolen from a zoo in California are endangered in more ways than one. The Fresno Chaffee says both birds are from protected species, and they require special care because of their advanced age, the BBC reports. The zoo has urged the public to be on the lookout for a lesser sulphur-crested cockatoo, from a species classed as critically endangered, and a Nicobara pigeon, which is classed as "near threatened." The zoo says the birds, which were taken from the zoo's Australian Asian Aviary early Sunday morning, are 27 and 32 years old. In a Facebook post, the zoo said security camera footage shows somebody breaking into the aviary around 4:30am.

"The person appears to cut the lock from the aviary doors, capture two birds and exit with them in a duffle bag," the zoo said. "Our bird zookeepers and entire team are deeply concerned for the safety of both of these animals," Lyn Meyers, the zoo’s general curator, said in a statement. “We do not know the condition of either bird and we hope to get them back quickly so that our veterinary team can examine them and continue the care they require." It is legal for pet stores to sell both species, and investigators have contacted local stores as well as veterinary hospitals, the Fresno Bee reports. (More zoo stories.)

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