Four out of the five macaws that were stolen from Lagos zoo at the end of last month have returned to their enclosures.
Five macaws; two blue and yellow breeding pairs and one red and green female, worth more than €10,000, were stolen from Lagos zoo in December. (See The Portugal News edition 1199, 12 January 2013).
In a statement, Lagos Zoo said: “After the cowardly theft of five macaws from our enclosures at Lagos Zoo during the early hours of the morning on 27 December, four of the birds have returned to the park.”
The first bird was spotted by a local resident in Figueira, Por-timão on New Year’s Eve who after seeing the news reports, contacted the zoo.
“The bird was fetched by our team on 4 January after we identified it as one of ours,” said the statement.
Last weekend, two other macaws flew themselves back to the zoo, while a fourth returned on its own to the park on Monday afternoon.
“Now we just need to recover one of the exotic birds. The fact that we have highlighted this sad event in the press has helped to make those responsible for the theft give up on the idea of selling the birds on the black market,” read the statement, adding: “we still have hope that the final macaw will find its way back to us.”
The number of exotic animals, especially birds, being stolen from zoos and breeders has increased significantly during the last two years, fuelled by the ongoing financial crisis and the high price the specimens fetch on the black market.
“It is necessary to continue to alert the population about these illegalities. We remind people that the security at our park has been reinforced to avoid this kind of attack, which we vehemently condemn,” said Lagos zoo.