Birds were freed to die

FIVE owls are today in danger of dying in the wild after their cages were cut open by reckless vandals.Around 30 aviaries at The Suffolk Owl Sanctuary in Stonham Barns were cut into some time between 5.

FIVE owls are today in danger of dying in the wild after their cages were cut open by reckless vandals.

Around 30 aviaries at The Suffolk Owl Sanctuary in Stonham Barns were cut into some time between 5.30pm last night and 8.30am today, which released ten birds, including two eagles, into the wild.

The vandals used bolt cutters to cut through the strong gates.

Loki the owl, sponsored by The Evening Star, and his new mate did leave the cage but thankfully flew back in again and are safe and well. The eagles were also caught.

It was when manager of the sanctuary Andy Hulme arrived at the centre today to open up and spotted one of the owls on the lawn that he knew something was amiss.

It was then discovered that dozens of aviaries had been broken into. His team managed to catch five of the birds but five more are still on the loose.

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As they have been bred at the centre, it is unlikely they will last more than a few days by fending for themselves.

Those owls still on the loose include a Burrowing owl, Great Horned owl, African Spotted Eagle owl, Tawny owl and a Pharoah Eagle owl.

Mr Hulme said: “I'm not very impressed to say the least. The Burrowing owl could probably only survive three days without food.

“Unless these birds get back to us, they will die a very slow, long death from starvation.

“They cannot fend for themselves because they are tame.

“Whoever has done this is extremely irresponsible.”

The cages containing other animals, including ferrets and chipmunks, were not touched.

If anyone sees any of the owls, they should call the centre immediately on 01449 711425.

Suffolk police are also investigating the incident. Anyone with any information should contact them on 01473 613500 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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