Page last updated at 23:53 GMT, Sunday, 28 June 2009 00:53 UK

Four bird of prey chicks stolen

Saker falcon at 2 Wit 2 Woo
Saker falcons are among the birds at 2 Wit 2 Woo

Three falcon chicks and a buzzard chick have been stolen from a bird rescue centre in Aberdeenshire.

The BBC Scotland news website has learned the 10-day-old saker falcons and six-day-old buzzard vanished from 2 Wit 2 Woo at Kinnoir near Huntly.

Owner Jeff Downie said: "The parents are clearly very distressed as they are still looking to feed the chicks but they are not there."

Grampian Police confirmed the theft of the chicks was being investigated.

They are valued at hundreds of pounds each.

Mr Downie said: "The chicks were in with their parents in pens.

"It was the buzzard's first chick so it has caused extreme upset.

"It may be impossible to trace these birds, they would have to be taken for a specific person. I do not hold out much hope but wanted to highlight that it is happening."

Not only could this theft cause distress and harm to the chicks, but the parents will obviously be distressed at the disappearance of their offspring
John Carle
Scottish SPCA

Grampian Pc Craig Finnie, who is investigating the crime, said: "The people responsible have displayed areas of expertise in knowing how to deal with the animals and that they were specific about which birds they were looking for and had to pass various other breeds in order to take the birds.

"I would urge anyone with information regarding this incident to contact the police."

Scottish SPCA Ch Insp John Carle said: "We are concerned by the nature of this theft. The questions that need to be answered now are why were these birds stolen and what do the thieves intend to do with them now?

"It is a possibility that they may have been stolen to sell on and we would have concerns for the welfare of any animal or bird taken under these circumstances.

"Not only could this theft cause distress and harm to the chicks, but the parents will obviously be distressed at the disappearance of their offspring. We would urge anyone with information to contact the police immediately."



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