Fresno Chaffee Zoo
Two endangered birds have been stolen from the Fresno Chaffee Zoo in California.
Security footage from the zoo shows an unidentified individual cutting the locks of the Australian Asian Aviary facility at Fresno Chaffee around 4:30 a.m. local time Sunday, according to a press release shared by the zoo.
The person then captured the two birds — a lesser sulphur-crested cockatoo and a Nicobar pigeon — and placed them into a duffle bag before leaving.
Both of the birds are older and have been long-term residents of the zoo, needing specific care.
"Our bird zookeepers and entire team are deeply concerned for the safety of both of these animals. Due to their age, both require special care and treatment. 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," General Curator Lyn Meyers said in a statement.
Fresno Chaffee Zoo lesser sulphur-crested cockatoo
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Lesser-sulphur crested cockatoos are currently listed as critically endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species (IUCN). Meanwhile, Nicobar pigeons are listed as near threatened. According to the zoo, it is illegal to own either species as a pet.
Zoo officials said they have reported the crime and that the Fresno Police Department is leading the investigation.
"In addition to supporting the police in their investigation, we have also reached out to local veterinary hospitals and pet stores so they are aware that these beloved animals are missing from the Zoo," said CEO Scott Barton. "We are appealing to anyone in the community to provide any information that would result in the safe return of these two beloved animals."
Anyone with any information can contact the Fresno Chaffee Zoo’s safety and security manager at 559-470-6872.