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Archive for Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Boy saving up to buy rare lorikeet bird stolen from Lawrence pet store wants it returned

Ryley Wheat, 9, a third-grader at Quail Run Elementary, with his favorite bird, "Sassy Girl." The bird — a rare lorikeet — was stolen from Pet World on Feb. 6. Ryley had already saved $400 of the $900 he needed to purchase the bird when she was stolen.

Ryley Wheat, 9, a third-grader at Quail Run Elementary, with his favorite bird, "Sassy Girl." The bird — a rare lorikeet — was stolen from Pet World on Feb. 6. Ryley had already saved $400 of the $900 he needed to purchase the bird when she was stolen.

March 7, 2012

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"Sassy Girl," a rare lorikeet, was stolen from Pet World on Feb. 6. Several children from the community had grown attached to Sassy Girl, and one boy was even saving up to purchase the $900 bird.

"Sassy Girl," a rare lorikeet, was stolen from Pet World on Feb. 6. Several children from the community had grown attached to Sassy Girl, and one boy was even saving up to purchase the $900 bird.

Reagan Garcia, a second grader at Broken Arrow Elementary, visits with "Sassy Girl," a rare lorikeet, at Pet World, 711 W. 23rd Street. Reagan met the bird at animal camp, and had been visiting the bird several times a week. Sassy Girl was stolen from the store Feb. 6 and has not yet been located.

Reagan Garcia, a second grader at Broken Arrow Elementary, visits with "Sassy Girl," a rare lorikeet, at Pet World, 711 W. 23rd Street. Reagan met the bird at animal camp, and had been visiting the bird several times a week. Sassy Girl was stolen from the store Feb. 6 and has not yet been located.

The theft of a rare bird, a lorikeet named Sassy Girl, from Pet World, 711 W. 23rd St., has broken the hearts of at least two area children.

“I was just really sad and mad at the same time,” said Ryley Wheat, 9, a third-grader at Quail Run School.

Ryley became close to Sassy Girl, who was stolen Feb. 6, during animal camp at the store. He had been pinching pennies and saving up ever since to buy the $900 bird.

“I really wanted to buy that bird,” said Ryley, who had stuffed away $400 doing chores and collecting birthday money.

Reagan Garcia, 8, a second-grader at Broken Arrow School, also “fell in love” with Sassy Girl at the camp, said Reagan’s mom, Aimee.

“She was devastated,” said Garcia when they saw a post on Facebook about the theft.

Bird thefts are rare, said Sherry Emerson, Pet World co-owner, and this was just the second bird theft from the store in 24 years.

Emerson said the theft occurred during a busy day; she estimates about 50 customers, as well as a tour, were in the store at the time of the crime.

She thinks that several thieves were working together, distracting employees. Sassy Girl was housed in an open bird cage with one other bird.

An employee noticed the bird missing after a few minutes and called police.

The biggest concern right now, Emerson said, is the bird’s health. Lorikeets, a medium-sized parrot native to southeast Asia and Australia, require a special nectar diet. Regular bird feed will make the bird sick, Emerson said.

Emerson said she’s hopeful the bird will be found or returned. It’s such a rare bird, she said, that those in the bird community will be suspicious if someone brings it to a store or tries to sell it. The other bird that was stolen about 10 years ago was left at another pet store, which called Emerson and returned the bird.

Ryley is still shaking off the shock of the theft and has a message for the thieves.

“You should not steal any pet,” he said. “You should just give it back.

Comments

Andini 2 years, 1 month ago

I give everyone the bird if I'm provoked enough.

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hyperinflate 2 years, 1 month ago

Surely this story has to win an award for generating the most diverse threads of conversation of any in recent memory. And a double award for managing to do this without mentioning any State or national political figures. Wow.

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tolawdjk 2 years, 1 month ago

Many times an animals "rareness" can be effected by the import/export laws of the originating country.

For example when Brazil put a ban on the export of wildlife the price of many specied of plecostamus went through the roof as supply was immediately reduced to what breeders could establish in the US. And since, previously, the aquariums were getting thier supply from importers, there were not a lot of breeders of certain species to take over the supply operations. The L-46 Zebra is a prime example. Striking fish that you could find for 10 -15 bucks before. Now days, you are lucky to see one less than $150 for something in the 1-2" range.

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JackMcKee 2 years, 1 month ago

it's not dead, it's just sleeping. Wakey Wakey

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somedude20 2 years, 1 month ago

I once dated a "rare bird" but I flew the coop because she was too seedy

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friendlyjhawk 2 years, 1 month ago

Ah, the cloying smell of a human interest story is hanging in the air.

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walkthehawk 2 years, 1 month ago

Ryley is a "he", not a "she." Pronoun in third paragraph indicates otherwise.

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sowhatnow 2 years, 1 month ago

This whole issue and the comments... just weird. Birds are not bred for domestication. These are just wild, "tame" birds. They don't have centuries of being bred for life amongst humans.

Something's wrong here with all this bird sentiment, seems to me.

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Kylee Manahan 2 years, 1 month ago

Make me another one of the broken hearted! I'm not a young one, but I loved that bird. Always went to see her and play with her.

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catfishturkeyhunter 2 years, 1 month ago

Yeah I suppose if it was bred in captivity here in the US it would probably be alright and acceptable to house one as a pet. But then how could you say the bird was a a rare bird? If they are bred to be pets then they are not rare. Bald Eagle, California Condor, Snowy Owl, Whooping Crane, those are rare birds. But I spect since most people have cats and dogs and not green birds, that makes them rare lol. Either way I do feel sorry for the boy and hope he gets his bird back.

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catfishturkeyhunter 2 years, 1 month ago

I truly feel bad for the boy. But at the same time I'm not sure that owning or even selling rare birds from another country as pets is morally right. Seems to me that bird belongs in the wild, not in a pet store, not in a zoo and certainly not in someones house. On the flip side, I hope they find out who took the bird as I can't stand a thief either

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Pywacket 2 years, 1 month ago

Add my kid to the list of the heartbroken. He is one of many who puts in volunteer time at Pet World, learning proper handling techniques of different species, and helping out with feeding, cage cleaning, or whatever is going on. We had been busy and he hadn't gone in for a couple of weeks, so we only learned of the theft a few days ago when my husband took him.

He had taken to that bird from his first week at the store--we all loved her, actually. She was one of the most affectionate birds I've ever been around. She was tiny but had a huge personality and would roll onto her back to get her belly rubbed, just like a dog, and enjoyed walking up your sleeve to sit on your shoulder and pick at your collar. My son knew he couldn't afford to buy her, but he so enjoyed spending time with her while he was there.

As Emerson said, the feeding requirements of the breed is a great cause of anxiety. Bad enough for the store (and all the kids) to endure the loss, but if the SOBs who took her cause her to sicken and die, that will be the real shame. We also heard that it was a cold day when she was taken, and psittacines are not well equipped to deal with cold. They are prone to respiratory problems and should never be exposed to chills.

Hate thieves!

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nut_case 2 years, 1 month ago

OK, stealing sucks, but but paying $900 for a bird?!?!

Forget the bird...put that money in a college fund, kid...you'll be much better off in ~10 years!

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Ron Holzwarth 2 years, 1 month ago

“You should not steal any pet,”

Exodus Chapter 20, verse 15: "You shall not steal." Leviticus Chapter 19, verse 11: "You shall not steal, nor deal falsely, nor lie to one another." Deuteronomy Chapter 5, verse 19: "Neither shall you steal."

That is three memos from antiquity about that. They were written down 2,700 to 3,000 years ago.

I am sorry to say that one more memo today won't make any difference to some of us.

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Bob Forer 2 years, 1 month ago

Sounds like professionals who knew what they were looking for. Sadly, the bird is long gone. However, they can't be too professional to steal something this rare, unless the sold it far away from here, and then, it doesn't seem worth the risk. but who said criminals were smart.

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gphawk89 2 years, 1 month ago

Security cameras in the store?

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