UK & World News
Wimbledon Hawk Rufus Snatched From Car
The hawk that patrols Wimbledon's tennis courts to frighten away pigeons has been stolen.
Detectives are investigating the theft of Rufus, a Harrier Hawk, who was taken overnight on Thursday and Friday from a car parked outside the home of his owner.
A police spokesman said the car was parked on a private drive in Dunstall Road, with the rear window open for ventilation, when the thieves struck.
The hawk, which deters pigeons at the All England Club simply through his presence, is also a family pet.
"The family has become very attached to the bird who is now four-and-a-half years old," the police spokesman said.
"They are distressed over the theft and are appealing for help to recover the bird."
Owner Imogen Davis, 25, said her family are in shock after Rufus's disappearance.
"It's really, really sad," she said. "He was taken in his travelling box, which is where he sleeps because it's nice and dark and cool and he can fall asleep in there.
"We're very, very shocked, we just want to know he's okay."
She said they reared four-year-old Rufus as part of the family-run business Avian Environmental Consultants.
"We work as a team together. To have him taken away like that is just horrible," she added.
"It's a family business, the birds are brought up around us. They're part of the family. It's just the way it is."
Ms Davis said she originally thought it was a prank, but was not sure as a falconry glove and falconry hood were stolen at the same time.
"Initially I was almost hoping that it was a prank because there was more possibility of us getting him back, and somebody would realise it was a stupid thing to do," she said.
"But because the hood and the glove were taken, I'm not sure. I suppose at least it means he's been looked after."
Rufus has become a well-known fixture at the south-west London club, with visitors often stopping to ask for photos with the hawk and even tennis stars, including former champion Richard Krajicek, tweeting pictures of him.
He even has his own Twitter account, but has not tweeted for a day.
His last tweet was before Rafael Nadal's shock exit from the tournament, when he said: "Murray is through, Rafa is down 2-1 (!), Ward played brilliantly but lost to Mardy Fish, and Italy are beating Germany 1-0!"
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what do you think?
Feel sorry for Rufus's owners its like losing a family member more than a pet who evers taken him please do the right thing and return him back home where he belongs where he is loved and cared for
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dont like to be pedantic but its actually a harris hawk
How can you be pedantic? It's just Orange getting it wrong again!
Maybe it was a flock of militant pidgeons looking for payback ?
Much loved & cared for, but left in a bloody car overnight!!!!??
What's he dpi g being left in care overnight, obviously owner didn't care about maybe an animal lover rescued him