Canary chicks fight for life after theft

TWELVE fledgling canaries are having to be hand reared after callous thieves broke into a Bramford aviary and stole all but two of the parent birds.Four babies and 29 adults were taken in the break-in early yesterday morning leaving the remaining chicks to fend for themselves.

By Jo Macdonald

TWELVE fledgling canaries are having to be hand reared after callous thieves broke into a Bramford aviary and stole all but two of the parent birds.

Four babies and 29 adults were taken in the break-in early yesterday morning leaving the remaining chicks to fend for themselves.

One of the recently hatched birds was found dead on the floor of the aviary and 13 eggs waiting to hatch had gone cold killing the growing birds inside.


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The thieves who stole the canaries have been branded "murderers" by Bob and Brenda Ransome, who have been raising the birds at their Gipping Way home since 1997.

Mrs Ransome said: "Whoever did this has got to be careless to take the birds and leave the babies without anyone to feed them.

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"They're murderers, 33 birds have gone and 14 are dead."

"I cannot believe that someone could be so low as to do something so mean when it means so much to somebody else," she added.

Mr Ransome was injured in an accident and spent some time in hospital. Aiming to be fit and well enough to feed and look after his birds was a significant factor in his road to recovery.

He said: "They've been a bit of therapy for me after my accident. It was something for me to aim towards, to get back and feed the birds."

Mrs Ransome added: "It gave him a reason to get out of bed in the morning."

It is thought that the birds were stolen some time before dawn.

The thieves appeared to have jumped over the fence into the back garden of the house, removed the plastic sheeting across one of the aviary windows and then kicked in the protective wire mesh to reach the birds.

The birds were discovered missing at about 9.30am.

Mrs Ransome said: "They must have been taken before it got light otherwise the birds would have been flying about and escaped when they broke in.

"It must have been still quite dark. At night they sit on their nests and don't move."

Mr Ransome continued: "It had to be more than one person. If it was a little bit light and they went in somebody would have had to stand by the window to stop them flying out.

"And if one of the birds escaped it would have been round about in the garden."

The Ransomes are hand-rearing four of the fledglings, feeding them liquidised egg feed with a syringe every two hours. The other eight babies have been given to a friend in the village who has experience of hand-rearing the birds.

The chicks are only about two weeks old and will have to be continuously fed by hand for about another three weeks if they are to survive.

However, Mr and Mrs Ransome, who have looked after canaries since one flew into their garden, remain devastated at the loss of so many of the canaries they had become attached to.

"They're funny little creatures," Mrs Ransome said. "They're so comical to watch.

"They're so tame. They eye you up to start with but they'll sit on your hand."

Mr Ransome added: "I just feel numb."

A police spokeswoman said: "Police are appealing for anyone who witnessed anything unusual in the area to contact them.

"Additionally police are appealing to pet shop owners to contact them if they are approached by anyone offering canaries."

Anyone with information is asked to contact police on 01473 613500 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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