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Last Updated: Thursday, 24 April, 2003, 08:25 GMT 09:25 UK
Prize-winning pigeons stolen
Racing pigeon
The pigeon theft left council staff distraught
A council has appealed for help to find dozens of prize-winning pigeons stolen from a public aviary.

Thieves made off with about 60 birds after cutting through their cages in Springhead Park, Rothwell, Leeds on Wednesday morning.

The pigeons - stolen from Leeds City council's breeding stock - include breeds such as Chinese Owls, Arkangels and Modinas.

Council spokeswoman Denise Preston said: "We are distraught and cannot believe what has happened.

Prize winners

"We are desperately seeking for people to come forward with any information that would lead us to the whereabouts of these pigeons and the thieves."

Many of the distinctive birds had won prizes at the Great Yorkshire Show.

There is also concern over the fate of a number of eggs which are due to hatch.

Ms Preston: "The remaining eggs are now doomed with their parents not around to look after them, and it is very sad to see this.

"This is a massive blow not only for the birds but a loss to the community as a whole who got great joy from seeing them every day."

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