Fresno zoo reports 2 elderly birds stolen, need special care

California
This undated photo provided by the Fresno Chaffee Zoo shows a lesser sulphur-crested cockatoo, one of two 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)

This undated photo provided by the Fresno Chaffee Zoo shows a lesser sulphur-crested cockatoo, one of two 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 birds were stolen from a zoo in Fresno, California over the weekend, officials said.

A lesser sulphur-crested cockatoo and a Nicobar pigeon were taken from Chaffee Zoo’s Australian Asian Aviary on Sunday around 4:30 a.m., The Fresno Bee reported. Both birds are of advanced age and in need of special care.

“Our bird zookeepers and entire team are deeply concerned for the safety of both of these animals,” general zoo curator Lyn Meyers said. “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.”

Security footage shows someone cutting the lock from the aviary doors, capturing the two birds and putting them into a duffel bag before leaving, authorities said. The motive for the theft is unknown.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species lists Nicobar pigeons as near threatened and lesser sulphur-crested cockatoos as critically endangered. Both species are legal to own and the zoo has notified local veterinary hospitals and pet stores.

Chafee Zoo CEO Scott Barton urged anyone with information to contact the Fresno Police Department or zoo officials.

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