Owner's anguish as parrots are stolen
The owner of a popular visitor attraction has told of her devastation after three treasured rare parrots were stolen during a break-in.
The birds – two African Greys and an Amazonian – cannot survive outside a heated environment and would have been traumatised by their ordeal, their distraught owner said.
Thieves forced open the animals' enclosures at Seaforde Gardens and Tropical Butterfly House near Newcastle, Co Down.
They also stole five terrapins.
Owner Anthea Forde said she adored the animals and begged for their return.
"They were such nice birds, all of them, it's very upsetting," she said.
"It was a huge shock to find they had gone and very traumatic for the birds.
"I've had one of them for 23 years and I was very close to them. I just hope whoever did it has a conscience, as it would be lovely if they did return them."
She said the birds had been given to the attraction by people who had wanted them properly looked after.
Ms Forde said she was upset at the animals being forced to the ground with sticks then shoved into sacks by the thieves, describing it as "brutal".
The African Greys are called Harry and Jack. The breed can sell for up to £1,000 each.
The other bird is called Pedro and is 25 years old.
Alliance councillor Patrick Clarke said people in the area were angered by the break-in, which happened between 6.30pm on Sunday and 9am on Monday. "I would urge anyone with information to contact the PSNI," he said.