A rare bird of prey that could be worth up to £15,000 has been stolen in a night-time raid on a Doncaster breeder.
Sasha, a two-year-old goshawk, was snatched from an aviary belonging to bird breeder Ian Trotter who is now offering a reward for the safe return of the bird, which is worth £3,000 but could fetch in five times that amount if used for breeding.
He said: “I think she was taken by someone who knew exactly what they were doing. Birds like this one are very rare and with her just about to come into the breeding season and start laying eggs, she is very valuable in the right hands.
“Hopefully getting the word out there will get her safely back to me.”
Mr Trotter, who has been caring for and breeding birds at his Mattersey home for 10 years, discovered that Sasha had been stolen when he woke up on Saturday morning.
He said: “She was there when I went to bed but when I checked the next morning, I found someone had cut through the meshing of the aviary roof and taken her.”
The bird is worth £3,000 alone - but each egg laid can also be worth £3,000 so could be worth £15,000 or more to breeders.
He added: “Whoever stole her probably has a male bird they want to breed with. I think it is someone who knew what they were doing. Owning a bird of prey needs paperwork so I don’t think its necessarily opportunist.”
Sasha has a distinctive pointed talon on one of her claws, rather than a traditional hooked foot.
Mr Trotter is offering a reward. Anyone with information can contact 07931 536178.