Parrot returned safe after Doncaster aviary break-in

Council worker John Durrans, Mark Benton and Martin the Parrot, who was stolen from the aviary at Hexthorpe Park, Doncaster.
Council worker John Durrans, Mark Benton and Martin the Parrot, who was stolen from the aviary at Hexthorpe Park, Doncaster.
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HE’S not dead, he’s not asleep and he’s not pining for the fjords!

Delighted staff at the aviary at Hexthorpe Park, Doncaster, have welcomed back one of the 60 birds which were stolen by thieves who raided the site last week.

Staff had been concerned for the welfare of the birds after the break-in during the early hours of Monday, April 23, when thieves stole around 60 budgies and cockatiels as well as nesting boxes.

Thieves also tried to break in for a second time in the early hours of Tuesday, April 24.

During the incident Martin the parrot got out and flew away.

Council workers had been trying in vain to recapture the missing birds. And then council Street Scene officer Mark Benton spotted a parrot on Balby Road while driving on his way to work.

Mark said: “I saw him sat on a dual carriageway between two lanes of moving traffic. I stopped, put my hazard lights on, and went to his rescue.

“He had blood on his beak and looked pretty sorry for himself but he let me pick him up and I put him in my car. I took him to the local vets in Balby and they treated him.

“When I got into work, I put two and two together and realised that it was actually our missing parrot.”

Martin was first taken in by Doncaster Council a year ago after his owner died. He is now safely back at the aviary in Hexthorpe where he has been sorely missed by local children.

Director of Regeneration and Environment Peter Dale said: “Well done to Mark for saving our parrot!

“We have been very concerned about Martin’s welfare, as well as the other birds which are missing from Hexthorpe aviary.

“I would urge anyone with information about the theft to contact police by calling 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.”

The stolen birds were a variety of colours including blue, green, yellow, grey and white. The incident has been reported to South Yorkshire Police, who have logged it as incident number 173 of April 24, and crime number A38099/2012.