The owner of two rare parrots stolen in a burglary has spoken of her relief after the animals were returned to their Co Down home by a member of the public.
Lady Anthea Forde, owner of Seaforde Gardens and Tropical Butterfly House, said she was “so happy” to get back her two African grey parrots.
Three parrots in total – the two African greys plus an Amazonian parrot – were stolen during the burglary on May 12.
Yesterday, police said officers had recovered a parrot during a search of a property in the Burnreagh Drive area of Newtownards.
“Further inquiries are ongoing to determine whether this is one of the stolen parrots,” said a PSNI spokesman.
“On Wednesday, the two other parrots were returned to the owner by a member of the public who contacted her directly.”
Yesterday, Lady Forde told of the dramatic sequence of events that led to the return of two of the stolen birds.
“Someone rang up and my sons went and picked them up in Lisburn and that was wonderful,” she told the News Letter.
“The two African greys have been returned in quite good condition.
“The man who returned them said he knew where they were and he got them and returned them to my sons.
“We are all so happy to get them back.
“I don’t know why they took them other than to sell on, but that was probably quite difficult when there was so much publicity about them.
“The bigger African grey seems to be all right, but the other one, One-eyed Jack, is a bit fluffed up.
“He is the more sensitive of the two.
“They are all friends with each other here and were very relieved to get back into the butterfly house, you could see that.
“You could almost see them smiling, if parrots could smile.
“I would prefer all birds to be free, but as they aren’t and I can’t fly back to the Amazon with them to let them go, the best I can do for them is the butterfly house.”
Lady Forde said she had deep concern for Pedro the Amazon, who is still missing.
“I don’t know what has happened to him,” she said.
“He was quite a noisy bird so I hope they have not ‘done away with him’, but he might be perfectly alright.”
Lady Forde said all the birds have been given to her by people who had become too old to care for them.
“I promised I wouldn’t sell them,” she added.
“Pedro would be the oldest, he would be about 40 years old.
“A lot of the birds could live to they are around 70.”
Last night, police appealed for anyone with information about the burglary to contact them on the non-emergency number 101.