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Birds worth $30,000 are stolen from central Indiana aviary

Police investigate exotic bird thefts in Frankfort, Indiana

FRANKFORT, Ind. (WISH) — Frankfort Police Department on Wednesday continued to seek the suspect or suspects who broke into the Frankfort Aviary late Saturday or early Sunday.

Parks Superintendent Joel Tatum says the thieves made off with four macaws, three Amazon parrots, an African grey parrot and an African ringneck parrot.

Tatum said Wednesday, “I absolutely think they knew what they were doing. They cut a hole in a specific spot so it was close to the cages of the specific birds that they took, and they took all the expensive birds we have and left all the others.”

It’s unclear how many people were involved in the thefts.

One of stolen birds is 50 years old, and the stress of being moved could be harmful.

The birds are worth a combined $30,000.

Tatum is worried the birds will be sold into the exotic pet trade.

“Someone personally isn’t going to own nine of those types of birds. That’s a lot to handle. They have a specialized diet. They have specialized care,” Tatum said.

The aviary is the largest in Indiana; it’s been around for 32 years and is funded mostly by donations.

Employees had developed a bond with the birds.

“The zookeepers were very close to them. They all have names. You have Taco. You have Jimmy, Sidney, Calista, Poncho, Priscilla, Monkey,” Tatum said.

Police located a vehicle of interest that was near the aviary on the night of the thefts. It’s described as an older-model Honda Odyssey.

Frankfort is a city of about 16,500 residents that’s about a 45-minute drive northwest of downtown Indianapolis.

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