Above: Young chicks like these Bengalese finches, similar to the ones left behind in Leslie Fry’s shed, will not survive without their parents to rear them. Photo: Tony Edwards


DISABLED PENSIONER LESLIE Fry, an avid birdkeeper for 69 years, had his precious aviary birds stolen overnight.

Five diamond doves, two pairs of Javas, three budgerigars, four cockatiels and several finches were taken from his garden in Wales on the night of June 17. Speaking to Cage & Aviary Birds the following morning, he said: “I just went down to feed the birds this morning and thought ‘they’re a bit quiet’. I felt sick as a pig when I saw what had happened.

“They are pet birds, although I used to exhibit finches. I started keeping birds when I was nine and have never been without them since then. I lost my wife in January after 55 years together and now I’ve got all this to deal with as well.”

The thieves had to climb over a six-foot high gate and fence to reach the birds in the shed and aviary. They broke the padlock and stole what they could grab, leaving young chicks behind.

“It is breeding season so they had eggs and young ones. One diamond dove left behind is sitting on two eggs, from a pair that has been taken. The zebras and Bengalese had chicks in the nest. They won’t survive without the parents,” said  Mr Fry, 78, of Newport.

“It’s disgusting. I have given away hundreds of birds to people over the years and this is how I get treated.” Mr Fry is a former secretary of Newport & Gwent Cage & Aviary Birds society.

He is hoping that the culprits have been caught on his neighbour’s security cameras.  He added: “I am known at all the petshops around, so I have gone there to check  no-one has been trying to sell them my birds. I suspect they were pinched for bird sales so they could be anywhere now.

“It’s breeding season so birds are not about for sale. It will take a while to get the numbers back up but I will do it, it’s my life. I am not going to let them beat me.”

Anyone with any information should call Gwent Police, quoting ref: 266.

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