Brave birds return to nursing home

PUBLISHED: 11:30 29 June 2006 | UPDATED: 11:50 04 May 2010

ELY detectives have been up before the beak to bring bird song back to the old folk of Littleport - thanks to the Ely Standard. Officers at the city police station found themselves baby-sitting a cage of stolen budgies after they were seized in a raid. Th

ELY detectives have been up before the beak to bring bird song back to the old folk of Littleport - thanks to the Ely Standard.

Officers at the city police station found themselves baby-sitting a cage of stolen budgies after they were seized in a raid.

The birds had been stolen from The Grange nursing home in Littleport when thieves smashed their way into the aviary in March.

After the Ely Standard reported the story, a reader tipped off the nursing home matron with information about the stolen birds and she in turn phoned the police.

Officers raided a home and found the budgies along with a haul of herbal cannabis plants.

Unfortunately, many of the 20 stolen birds were already dead but police were able to save three.

"We had to keep them in our office in the police station overnight before we could return them to the home," said Ely police detective sergeant, Tim Underhill. "We took some stick about it!"

In the meantime a budgie breeder had also seen the story and offered The Grange 15 budgies to add to its aviary.

Two cockatiels donated by a resident's family completed the aviary, which was repaired and strengthened after the raid and can be enjoyed once again from the home's dining room.

Cathy Doswell, matron at The Grange, said: "The birds give an awful lot of pleasure to the residents. It just goes to show the power of your local paper!

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