Hunt still on for bird dec­o­ra­tor

The New Zealand Herald - - News - Melissa Nightin­gale

A search of a Welling­ton prop­erty where groups of in­tri­cately dec­o­rated pi­geons were found has turned up no ev­i­dence to sug­gest the res­i­dents are be­hind the bizarre abuse.

The pi­geons were found in an open aviary in Kil­birnie adorned with tin­sel, trin­kets and paint, dur­ing an in­quiry into the ris­ing num­ber of birds dy­ing or be­com­ing se­ri­ously in­jured by such dec­o­ra­tions.

But it ap­pears the mys­tery dec­o­ra­tor is still at large after the SPCA car­ried out a search war­rant at the prop­erty and found no ev­i­dence that the house’s oc­cu­pants had harmed the birds them­selves.

“The search war­rant found

The own­ers have an open aviary . . . and the birds . . . have also been vic­tim.

SPCA spokesper­son

no in­crim­i­nat­ing ev­i­dence that the oc­cu­pants were re­spon­si­ble for cap­tur­ing the birds, dec­o­rat­ing, and re­leas­ing them,” a spokesper­son said.

“The own­ers have an open aviary with hom­ing pi­geons, and the birds found there last week have also been vic­tim to who­ever is dec­o­rat­ing birds in the Kil­birnie area.”

The seven dec­o­rated pi­geons were found at the aviary shortly after the an­tics of the bird dec­o­ra­tor made head­lines.

Be­fore the dis­cov­ery, other birds such as spar­rows had been found with tin­sel wrapped around them.

Many of the spar­rows had died as the dec­o­ra­tions stopped them from be­ing able to eat or drink

Since 2015, SPCA’s Welling­ton Cen­tre has had 30 cases of birds be­ing brought in ei­ther dead, or with in­juries so se­vere they’ve had to be eu­thanised.

Dec­o­ra­tions were re­moved from the pi­geons by SPCA’s vet­eri­nary team, and they were each fully ex­am­ined.

SPCA’s in­spec­tors will con­tinue to in­ves­ti­gate the case, and are call­ing on Kil­birnie res­i­dents to help.

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