MINEOLA, NY (WCBS/CNN) - Animal lovers John and Ida Ferreira can barely bring themselves to watch the wrenching video of a Memorial Day weekend burglary inside their pet store that targeted a helpless baby Goffin’s cockatoo.
“Very emotional when somebody does things to live animals, especially one that cannot survive on its own,” said Ida Ferreira, who with her husband has owned For Birds Only for three decades.
Police said a trio entered the store and approached an employee in the rare bird room. They allegedly held the cockatoo and asked questions such as, “Is the price really $1,800?” The alleged thieves apparently worked in concert and tried to distract the worker while they waited for other families to vacate the area.
One woman acted as a lookout while a man pulled out a small black towel, covered the bird with it, snatched it out of the open cage and buried it in the third suspect’s bag.
The walked out waving. Five minutes later, the theft was discovered, and the bird and the culprits were long gone.
“Whoever took the bird, please at least try to feed him the right way,” Ida Ferreira said. “Don’t let him die.”
The 12-week-old Goffin’s cockatoo must be fed formula from a dropper. The birds, native to Indonesia, are difficult to breed and live to the age of 40.
The Ferreiras said they never dreamed the cameras they installed would reveal such brazen behavior.
“I hope anybody can find the bird the bird to bring back,” Ida said. “My heart’s waiting for him.”
The store owners hope to work with police and the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals to set up a reward in the hopes of finding the bird.
Copyright 2017 WCBS via CNN. All rights reserved.