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Thieves steal exotic birds

More than 30 exotic birds were stolen on May 25 from the Centre Algarve project for special needs people based in Moncarapacho.

Barbara Willis from Centre Algarve said: “We were devastated to find the birds missing including several young birds that were being fed by their parents. The local Portuguese are as devastated as we are as they take a personal interest in the centre’s progress.”

The birds had been put together over the past six months and included cockatiels, parakeets, canaries and budgerigar with some of the birds having recently laid eggs that will now be lost as there are no birds to sit on them.

“The padlocks and chains had been severed and we will now have to install security lights and sensors and we will probably have to get a few geese which are as good as guard dogs,” said Tom Willis.

He added: “A new aviary was due to be constructed in the next week or so which will be very close to the swimming pool area and would have been a lovely feature for when the children stay at the centre but this will now have to go on hold as the funds will have to go towards new security instead.”

Details of the missing birds have been circulated while there are also flyers being posted in local shops and businesses asking for help to track down the missing birds.

To help to replace the birds, a raffle was held at the Mad Hatters Riverside Bar in Tavira with more than €100 being raised.

“We were appalled by the theft and felt we had to do something to help those less fortunate than ourselves,” said Danni Bain, the manager of the bar.

Management at Centre Algarve are asking anyone with information about the theft of the birds to please inform the local GNR by calling 289 790 010.

Meanwhile, the Centre Algarve project is continuing to develop to be able to open as the first holiday centre in Europe to specialise in catering for special needs and disabled people.

However, the team urgently require tradesmen to help to finish the project before the first groups of youngsters with special needs arrive later this summer.

A spokesman for Centre Algarve said: “If you have a specific skill, be it electrician, plumber, plasterer or particularly a joiner or carpenter and can spare a few hours, the centre would be delighted to hear from you.”

For further information about Centre Algarve or to volunteer on the project, please call 962 812 230, email [email protected] or visit www.centrealgarve.org