Stolen exotic bird returned to home
One of the exotic birds stolen from the Avifauna bird center in Alphen aan den Rijn has been reunited with his mate and three young after he was spotted in a woman's garden. The animal is currently in quarantine, the Algemeen Dagblad reports. Avifauna handlers sped to a home in 's-Hertogenbosch after receiving a phone call from a woman who said she had a unique bird sitting in her garden. The handlers took the male bird's mate with them in a cage, which they used to tempt the male into the cage. After checking the bird's tag, the handlers knew the bird was one of the 30 birds stolen from the zoo last week. A spokesperson for Avifauna, Pamela Stolze, says that the bird they re-captured was a Von der Decken's hornbill, one of the more common East African species of hornbill that was stolen from the park. The male is now in quarantine for an indeterminable period. The female was unable to take care of the newly hatched chicks on her own, so the zoo placed these in an incubator. Stolze doesn't know whether this signals the start of the successful return of all the birds to the zoo. "Maybe this animal escaped the thieves, but it could also be that it already flew away when the theft happened on the night of the 15th of September." Previously, a bird spotter in Waddinxveen seems to have claimed an exotic bird sighting, but Avifauna has not received new reports on this. The theft was the largest ever at Avifauna. The police does not yet want to give any information about the state of their investigation. Avifauna believes that the thieves were professionals, knowing to pick out the rarest, and therefore most valuable, birds.