Surrey

Woking 'prized' yellow canaries left for dead by thieves

Cages left empty Image copyright Surrey Police
Image caption Cages in the shed were left empty by the thieves

Dozens of "prized" yellow canaries have been stolen from a shed in Woking, leaving their owner devastated.

Thieves who raided the home in the town centre seized 44 of the songbirds, but left others dead or injured.

Surrey Police said the injured pets had to be put down, following the raid on Monday.

Officers said the birds were "valuable" and want to hear of any appearing in local pet shops, but could not put a figure on what they are worth.

The owner of the birds was said to be too upset to talk.

Image copyright Science Photo Library
Image caption Police have not revealed the breed of the canaries stolen but have said they were "valuable"

The force could not say how many birds were left dead or hurt in the raid, which happened overnight on Monday.

A caged canary's average life span is 10 to 15 years, according to Encyclopaedia Britannica, but some have been known to survive for more than 20 years.

The reference book states the species owes its yellow colour and vocal powers to 400 years of selective breeding by humans.

Native to the Canary, Azores and Madeira islands, the canary is streak-backed and mostly greenish-brown in the wild.

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