Canaries stolen from garden aviary

PUBLISHED: 15:32 05 February 2009 | UPDATED: 12:57 03 July 2010

A PARTIALLY disabled woman has been devastated by the theft of around 60 canaries from her garden aviary, robbing her of one the few pleasures aiding her recovery after surgery.

A PARTIALLY disabled woman has been devastated by the theft of around 60 canaries from her garden aviary, robbing her of one the few pleasures aiding her recovery after surgery.

Thieves swooped last Thursday just as Violet Edwards was becoming more mobile following a hip replacement and looking forward to the nesting season.

Her daughter Jayne Smith said the culprits were “ruthlessly efficient” adding that they must have come prepared with a plan and equipment.

Adding to her upset was the worry about how the birds were being treated and where they would end up.

The birds said to be worth around £1000 were abducted at night while roosting in the free-flying aviary, probably by at least three people who left only a handful behind.

They were prime specimens, having been loved and nurtured and given only the best feed by widow Mrs Edwards of Moulton St Mary, near Acle, who kept them as a hobby.

Her daughter said she enjoyed watching them from the kitchen and hearing their songs and was just getting to the point where she could become more actively involved again following a bumper breeding season two years ago.

“Not only is it cruel to my mum who bred them purely as a hobby not to sell or show them, it is cruel to the birds too. We had a aviary full of top birds in really nice colours and now some rotters have stolen them. Having been widowed and partially disabled it's her only hobby and gave her a reason to keep going. She was looking forward to them starting to nest so she could get actively involved.

“It has really knocked her back. Last Friday she looked as if she had aged 20 years. She looked old and scared and now we just feel very very vulnerable. The birds were beautiful and it was very uplifting to hear their song.”

The family hope their experience will act as a warning to other bird lovers to better protect their aviaries against thieves. They are also asking anyone who is offered birds for sale to contact the police.

Anyone with information should call PC Kennedy at Acle police on 0845 4564567.

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