PUNTA GORDA, Fla. — After suffering the loss of more than two dozen parrots in their care, a Florida nonprofit is offering a $20,000 reward for the safe return of the animals.
Officials with the Parrot Outreach Society said that their facility on Elizabeth Street in Punta Gorda was broken into around 3 a.m. Tuesday.
They reported that 28 birds were stolen, with breeds including cockatoos, Amazons, and conures.
"We are absolutely devastated and are asking all our followers to be on the lookout for our babies," the organization said in a Facebook post. "We ask all breeders to be on the lookout. These birds mean the world to all of our volunteers, and we are all heartbroken."
Tears were evident on the faces of volunteers who stopped by to help clean up and take stock of the building.
"We care for these birds so much," said volunteer Isabella Grelik-Ammouri. "It's what I look forward to doing at the end of the week. We all care; we all want them back."
The Parrot Outreach Society is a welfare and conservation education organization that adopts the birds to Florida residents following an application and screening process.
Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers is seeking tips on this incident; you can leave anonymous tips by phoning 1-800-780-8477 or using the P3 Tips mobile app.
You may be eligible for a cash reward for information leading to an arrest of a suspect and/or recovery of the birds.