MALACCA: Burglars got the wrong birds when they stole a pair of talking cockatoos which they thought were costly, leaving behind a more expensive parrot that was in the next cage.
The cockatoos, which would greet visitors with “selamat pagi” at the bird park in Ayer Keroh, were stolen last Tuesday.
Park officials estimated that this Sulfur Crested species cost a few hundred ringgit, unlike the much pricier RM25,000 African gold macaw that was resting in a cage just next to theirs.
A 23-year-old supervisor, who, wanted to be known as Helmi, said he came to work at 8.30am that day and found another cockatoo which was restless.
Suspecting something amiss, he looked around before he noticed the perimeter fencing at the back was damaged.
A bag containing a wire cutter was left there.
The management lodged a police report on the missing cockatoos at the Ayer Keroh station that day.
It is believed that there were two burglars and they gained entry into the bird park via a secondary jungle nearby.
They could have climbed a tree before cutting the rear fence.
The bird park, which sits on a 1.87ha site, is considered one of the largest aviaries in South-East Asia.
It is under the management of KAJ Development Sdn Bhd (KAJD).KAJD CEO Datuk Michelle Ong said she felt sad over the break-in, adding that the park was popular with tourists.
“Every bird is precious to us regardless of whether it is exotic or common. I am very upset over the incident,” she said.
Ong said security was tight and that there was a patrol unit but the burglars were believed to have made their way in the dark by using a path at the secondary jungle.
“We will add more of the same cockatoo species to make up for the missing ones,” she said adding that a bird expert, with 40 years experience in managing aviary parks in this region, had been appointed on Jan 1.