Birds and eggs stolen as thieves take flight

Gary Jefferies

KENT POLICE are appealing for witnesses after endangered birds and their eggs were stolen from Hadlow College.

The thieves are reported to have stolen a female Laysan Teal duck and 12 eggs, a female Nene goose and five eggs and a female Maned goose and 12 eggs.

It is believed that the wire to the birds’ coop were kept was cut in order for the thieves to reach the highly valued animals between 7pm on Saturday and 8am Sunday morning [April 22-23].

The Laysan Teal declined to just 20 individuals in the early 20th century, but is on the way to recovery due to conservation efforts.

Currently there are an estimated 500-680 mature adults almost entirely residing on the Hawaiian Laysan Island, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature who label the species as ‘critically endangered’.

The duck has evolved several behavioural traits linked to the absence of ground-based predators in its habitat; these include freezing or running to escape danger rather than flying, which made the duck vulnerable to hunting by humans, and the pigs, rats and mongooses they brought with them to Hawaii

Anyone with information that can help is asked to call Kent Police appeals line on 01622 604100 or email quoting reference YY/010371/17.

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