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One-legged parrot still missing from Downe zoo

PUBLISHED: 14:49 18 April 2012

Manager Paul Gubby shows where the burglar broke in

Manager Paul Gubby shows where the burglar broke in

Archant

A one-legged parrot called Long John Silver is still missing from a zoo in Downe after being stolen last month.

The zoo has suffered years of exotic animal thefts and police said the animals suffer because thieves often don’t know how to look after exotic animals.

Long John Silver, an African grey, was known for his wolf whistling.

He disappeared from his cage at Christmas Tree Farm overnight between March 15 and 16.

Parrots are popular pets and can sell for up to £1,000.

Zoo manager Paul Gubby believes it was stolen to order.

He said: “We were quite upset when he went. He used to copy my whistle and he could speak a bit and say ‘hello’.

“When you went into the aviary to see him he was quite happy to sit on your shoulder and be stroked.”

The parrot was donated to the farm three years ago. Staff found the cage lock broken but the thief was not caught on CCTV.

Christmas Tree Farm has also been hit by a string of tortoise thefts, with 13 disappearing since 2008.

Bromley police said thieves in the area can steal animals for profit, breeding or reward money.

A spokesman said: “Not only are these thefts a problem for the owners, who must take precautions to protect their pets from theft, but for the victimized pets as well, many of whom suffer due to their captor’s lack of knowledge of how to properly care for them or negligence.”

Contact the Darwin safer neighbourhood team on 07920 233 859 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111 if you have any information.

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