Stolen owl returned to Brora centre
A Eurasian Eagle Owl stolen from a raptor rescue centre at Brora has been returned.
Operators of Blue Highlands Raptor Rescue and Conservation Centre say they are overjoyed to be reunited with the bird, named Maximus.
Centre founder Hadassah Broscova-Righetti said: “If hearts could burst with joy, ours would be.”
The centre on Golf Road was broken into early on Tuesday morning.
The owl was removed from its cage and taken away along with a herring gull, named Buster, which had been in an adjoining cage.
The gull had an injured wing round which was wrapped a blue bandage.
It was feared the owl, which has been captive bred and is unable to fend for itself, had been released.
Ms Broscova-Righetti said Maximus’ lifelong mate of 18 years, named Victoria, had been left traumatised by his disappearance.
Police issued an appeal for information following the theft.
The rescue centre also publicised it on social media and launched a crowdfunder to raise money for enhanced security.
But today it was revealed that Maximus had been returned.
Ms Broscova-Righetti announced on social media: “White details are still unfolding and we cannot release all the information due to the ongoing police enquiry, Maximus has been reunited with Victoria at Blue Highlands.
“Shortly afterwards Brora Golf club assisted in the recovery of Buster the gull.”
She added: “The pressure of more than 50,000 people reached on social media may well have resulted in them being released by their captor.
“Right now we are overwhelmed by the love and support of our community, police and media efforts.
“We are beefing up security as promised with the ongoing and critical funding efforts.
“Thank you to the locals who helped recover both birds. We could not have asked for better friends in this crisis. Thank you everyone.”