Pheasant plucked from park aviary

LOW-LIFE thieves appear to have stolen another much-loved bird from Tamworth’s Marsupial Park, the third in two years.

Volunteers were devastated to find their stunning golden pheasant missing from the Free Flight Aviary when they arrived at the park on Monday morning.

When he failed to find the bird’s body, president of the Friends of Marsupial Park John McDarmont concluded the bird had been snitched, sometime between Sunday afternoon and Monday morning.

“It’s miserable when you look after a park for the whole community,” he said. “The thing is, if they wanted to see the birds and get up close to them and talk to them they can and the beauty is they don’t have to feed them, that’s what bugs us.

“People are very selfish and only think of themselves.” 

Mr McDarmont said the colourful Chinese native, who volunteers affectionately nicknamed “The Boss”, was a real crowd pleaser that loved to “round you up” at your feet.

“If he saw you he’d fly down and come to you,” Mr McDarmont said.

“He was so tame, he would have been easy to catch ... he would follow you around like a dog.”

He said the breed was not in high demand or expensive so it was unlikely he was nabbed to sell.

Rather Mr McDarmont suspected it was the bird’s striking orange, red, yellow and blue plumage that caught the eye of someone wanting him as a pet.

It is the third theft in two years, with a duck and a cockatiel also stolen from the facility.

If the thefts continue, Mr McDarmont said the group may be forced to close the walk-through aviary when volunteers were not on duty.

In the meantime, he urged the public to be on the look out for the conspicuous bird.

“If anyone sees him they can bring him back, no questions asked.”

Local police have been informed of the theft.

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