Has stolen falcon been spotted in Suffolk?
- Credit: Archant
The owner of a prized falcon that was stolen from his garden has thanked the public for their efforts after witnesses reported spotting the bird throughout Suffolk.
Tony James' peregrine falcon Dancer, an 11-year-old female, was taken from her owner's garden by thieves near Bucklesham last week.
Falconer Mr James said he left Dancer in his garden in Newbourne Road to go to work last Thursday, but returned to find her, as well as the perch she was stood on, missing.
Suffolk Constabulary said Dancer was taken between 2pm and 4.30pm on Thursday, November 21. The force has warned other owners to ensure their birds are tagged and easily identifiable in the instance of similar thefts.
The Suffolk Rural Crimes Unit was contacted, with hope that CCTV footage in the village will be able to track down the thieves.
Devastated at the ordeal, Mr James, who has owned birds for more than 40 years, posted on social media in an attempt to spread the word of the theft of his bird.
The appeal caught the attention of Rory Stewart, who is campaigning to be Mayor of London, who re-tweeted the news to his 224,000 followers.
Members of the community have offered their financial assistance to track down Dancer, with the reward fund standing at several thousand pounds.
Speaking last week, Mr James said: "The recurring nightmare is that she is stressed and being badly handled.
- 1 World War Two-themed holiday accommodation plans at former airfield
- 2 Matchday Live: Chaplin wins it as Town claim three points
- 3 9 forgotten pubs that were at the heart of their Suffolk towns
- 4 Thatch roof of cottage 'fully alight' in village near Needham Market
- 5 McKenna hoping Portman Road routine changes can help 'find an edge'
- 6 Police arrest driver after single car crash
- 7 Police called to anti-vaccine demonstration at Suffolk pharmacy
- 8 Ratings: How the Ipswich Town players performed in Stanley win
- 9 'It's an important win' - McKenna on 2-1 victory against Accrington
- 10 Appeal to find 33-year-old missing man
"She could have been taken by an opportunist, or someone targeting birds of prey, claiming her for breeding.
"It's had me in tears."
In the last few days, falcons, or birds of a similar description to Dancer, have been spotted in addresses in Suffolk.
Cathy Howard, who lives in The Grove in Ipswich, said she saw a bird of a similar colour to Dancer on her neighbour's roof on Sunday.
Meanwhile, another witness believes a bird on a post outside Barking Nursing Home near Needham Market may have been the missing falcon.
Mr James thanked everyone for their support in the effort to track down Dancer.
He said: "The connection I have with Dancer is impossible to replace.
"The best wishes of everyone who has helped has just been incredible. It's been humbling.
"I can't thank everyone enough for their help - it's beyond belief. I owe a big thank you to everyone."