Two hooded raiders have stolen a baby Barn Owl from a Sunderland farm by stuffing it into a bag.
Barney the Barn Owl was snatched from his cage at Sunderland Training and Education Farm in South Hylton, at 5.15am on Saturday.
CCTV images show two men, wearing dark coloured clothing, stuffing Barney into a bag before making off.
Jeanette Chapman, the farm’s manager, is now desperate to try and find the one–year–old bird, who she believes has an injured wing.
Ms Chapman said: “We fed Barney up for the weekend, so he was rather full and there was lots of flapping about as they stuffed him into a bag.
“We think he’s got an injured wing and he’s probably been stolen to order.
“We just hope someone has a heart and brings him back to us, so we can get him seen to.”
The thieves managed to gain entry into Barney’s cage as the padlock was rusty. However, they had also brought along wire cutters, which were later found discarded.
Barney has been at the farm for the last five months and is has an identification ring around his foot, but Ms Chapman believes this will now have been removed.
She said: “It’s ridiculous really, Barn Owls are not that expensive to buy, you can get one for about £80.
“Barney has now probably been sold on for £40, enough for someone to have a few drinks at weekend probably.
“His identification ring has probably been cut off, but we’re desperate to have him back.”
Anyone with information should call Northumbria Police on 101.