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SOUTHWEST MIAMI-DADE (CBSMiami) — A community of bird lovers in South Florida is hoping for the safe return of six expensive and rare birds thatwere stolen Friday night.

The birds, including a Mumbrella Cockatoo, were stolen from the Aviary Bird Shop at Cauley Square near Goulds.

“They knew what they were doing; they knew what they were taking,” said store owner Patricia Lyon. “They just basically cut (cages) with bolt cutters, and they took off with the birds.”

The thieves took six birds worth about $16,000.

In addition to the Mumbrella Cockatoo, thieves took a Harlequin Macaw, a Congo African Grey, a Lesser-Sulfur Crested Cockatoo, a Painted Green-cheek Conure hybrid, and the rarest was a Blue-throated Macaw.

Three cages were also stolen and taken out the back door.

“I think they scoped out the area and kind of figured out how they could get in,” explained Lyon. “They couldn’t get into the main door because we have double locked glass doors.”

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Lyon said a police report was filed, but she doesn’t expect the birds to be found.

“I’m optimistic, but being realistic, I would say it’s real slim that you’re ever going to see these birds again.”

Word of the theft has spread through The Aviary’s Facebook page.

Many bird lovers and customers have mobilized. They are scouring the internet and other pet stores for any sign of the stolen birds.

“People just don’t understand what happens once you steal them or take them away from the flock,” said one customer.

There’s also concern about what condition these birds, that normally require a lot of attention, might be kept in.

“It’s your animal. It’s your baby, and that’s what I do here. I’ve been in the business for 12 years, all I do is birds, and they’re amazing,” said Lyon.

The Aviary has fortified its back door from both the inside and the outside since the break-in.

Anyone with information on the stolen birds is asked to call the Miami-Dade Police Department.


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