Interchange Respite Care Inc house manager Di Hughes (left) and volunteer Nat Henssler pictured through the hole where thieves stole 30 pet parrots.
Interchange Respite Care Inc house manager Di Hughes (left) and volunteer Nat Henssler pictured through the hole where thieves stole 30 pet parrots. The Northern Star

Callous thieves steal parrots

A COMPLETELY senseless act has left a group of children with disabilities without their pet parrots.

Interchange Respite Care Inc co-ordinator Di Hughes was almost in tears yesterday after thieves stole 30 parrots from the respite group's aviary in Lismore Heights.

“All the people that work here are trained volunteers and we support the centre by donations and fundraising,” Ms Hughes said.

“The kids that we take care of feed these birds and one of our girls sits down near the aviary in her wheelchair and watches them fly around.

“She won't be able to do that any more as they are all gone.

“I don't know how I'm going to explain to the kids what has happened to their birds.”

Ms Hughes said the respite centre was well marked and the thieves would have clearly seen that the centre was for children with a disability.

“We had a breeding pair of princess parrots and 28 cockatiels of different breeds and colours,” she said.

“They were beautiful birds and the kids had even named them.

“The kids have benefited from having the birds around. It has given them something extra of interest and has given them some responsibility.”

Ms Hughes said the birds were taken on Tuesday night, with thieves using a stool to jump over the fence and cut through the wire cage at the back of the locked aviary.

“It doesn't appear they have just been released,” Ms Hughes said.

“None of the birds have come back and they would have stuck around as some of them were hand reared.

“It is just gut wrenching that someone would come in here and steal from these kids.”

Police said the parrots could be worth up to $3100 and are looking for any information that could help with an arrest.

Anyone with information is urged to contact Lismore police on 6626 0599.



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