BATEMANS Bay’s Birdland Animal Park is reeling after 50 birds were stolen from the park on Thursday night.
It is understood the thieves gained entry through a shed on the park’s boundary.
They then cut their way out again with bolt cutters and used Birdland’s own trailer to transport some of the birds, collected from five different aviaries spread throughout the park.
Those stolen include a “priceless” hand-raised 30-year-old Alexandrine, two male and one female Eclectus parrots, as well as regents, Lorikeets, quails, ringnecks and cockatiels.
The theft comes after offenders stole six snakes and three birds from the park in May, 2013.
Due to an overwhelming public campaign last year, all but two of the stolen snakes were returned.
Ranger Samantha Rattray said the offenders in the most recent theft must have had a reasonable knowledge about the park.
“They’ve obviously known where everything was, because they were in quite different areas and they’ve been quite specific about what they did and didn’t take," she said.
A bird stolen last year and later recovered was one of those stolen in the latest hit.
Ms Rattray said the birds were collectively worth about $6000, however at least 12 or so eggs, being nursed by females now stolen, would also be lost.
Three baby birds are also at risk and now need to be hand raised.
“It has a major impact because this time in spring a lot of the females are sitting on eggs, or they’ve got little babies. They’re now gone,” she said.
“That’s the next generation gone as well.
“Obviously the little babies aren’t going to be fed anymore as mum and dad are gone.”
Others were ready to lay, and Ms Rattray was concerned they could become eggbound if they don’t have a nest.
She is urging residents to keep an eye out in the community for anyone who comes across new birds.
“It’s quite a lot of birds to suddenly unload,” she said.
“The community is a big help. Last time the community was fantastic.”
Ms Rattray said the birds were like family.
“We feed them every day, we raise them every day, we know their personalities,” she said.
They’re part of the family and our kids are out there lost.
“They’re not being taken care of - they don’t know what medication they need, what their characters are, what they need to eat.
“It’s not just an aviary bird, they’re all quite special - some of them have been rescued birds, some of them are ex-pets, they all have little quirks.
“I really hope that we get them back.”
Anyone with any information should phone Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.