The case of the missing exotic birds began early in the morning on Tuesday when a newspaper deliverer called police after he’d spotted the door to the Worldwide Fish & Pet Store had been pried open.
New Haven officers arrived and found an unusual crime scene. The broken door was being propped open by a piece of metal. There was some pet food scattered about. Feathers, including a long blue one, were discovered. Red and blue feathers were discovered at the back of the shop, said Officer David Hartman, spokesman for the New Haven Police Department.
The cops discovered a number for the owner and asked that he come down to his business.
The owner looked around and realized several high-priced birds were gone – nearly 15,000 thousand in mainly Parrots, Conures and Cockatoos. Among the missing is a Scarlet Macaw ($2,800), two Blue and Gold Macaws ($2,500 each), an African Grey ($2,500), a Severas Macaw ($1,400.00), two Grimson Belly Conures ($550 each) and an Orange Sun Conure ($349).
He also said several cages, some containing several Cockatoos were also stolen ($1,800).
Officers held the crime scene for forensic unit detectives who processed what they could.
It’s possible a U-Haul truck was used to pilfer the pricy psittacines. Detectives continue to search for surveillance footage from area businesses and traffic cameras, Hartman said.
"The illegal trade of stolen exotic pets are rare investigations for any local law enforcement agency," said Hartman.
Of immediate concern are the proper care and environment for the birds.
According to the Pet Health Network, many birds and reptiles, in particular, need to be kept warm to remain healthy. Birds, especially larger parrots, can generally tolerate temperatures as low as the 50s, but once the thermometer drops below that, they may get fluffed up expending all of their energy trying to trap warm air between their feathers and their bodies to keep warm and stop eating.
New Haven Police are asking for the public’s help. If you know anything that could help with the apprehension of the bird thieves or have a lead on the whereabouts of these vulnerable victims, please phone detectives at 203-946-6304. Calls may be made anonymously.
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