MARABELLA police are investigating the theft of several endangered species of wildlife, including macaws and breeding birds, from the Pointe-a-Pierre Wildfowl Trust over the weekend.
Police are also warning the public to be aware and report if they come across the birds being offered for sale. They may fetch a hefty sum because they are vanishing species.
The trust is situated within the Heritage Petroleum Company's grounds at Pointe-a-Pierre, and has been closed for several weeks like the rest of the country, in keeping with the covid19 health restrictions, as it is not an essential service.
Staff have permission to feed the animals, but there is little security on the vast compound.
Environmentalist Molly Gaskin and Karilyn Shepard, who have been at the helm of the 55-year-old internationally renowned centre, were devastated by the loss.
Gaskin told Newsday on Wednesday, “I am deeply shocked and deeply grieved.”
She said over the years there have been thefts, but not like this.
“We have worked for our country and our people for 55 years and to have been hit as badly as we have been hit is indeed shocking and left us in grief.”
The trust is responsible for introducing environmental studies in the secondary school’s curriculum.
The theft was reported to the Marabella Police and investigations revealed four men were seen in the area and had been chased earlier. Footprints led police to the Plaisance Park area as the investigation continued.
Word of the theft was posted on several social media platforms, with an appeal to share as widely as possible. Anyone with any information that can lead to the arrest and retrieval of the birds to continue the work of the trust can e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
The message said that in what appeared to be a well-planned robbery while World Environment Day was being celebrated, thieves made off with the mature blue and gold macaws, fulvous whistling ducklings, white-faced whistling ducks, wild muscovy ducklings and a white peahen, as well as an incubator containing eggs.
Over the years, the trust, an internationally renowned centre for breeding and releasing indigenous water fowl, has been breeding the blue and gold macaws and releasing them into the wild, especially at Nariva and Aripo, two of their main habitats.
As part of its 55th anniversary earlier this year, 15 endangered blue and gold macaws and 16 endangered wild muscovy ducks were released in the environs of the Pointe-a-Pierre estate.
The trust which has been in existence since 1966, has had visits from Britain’s Queen Elizabeth, presidents and prime ministers from around the globe, actors and other celebrities.
It isg the only such breeding and teaching organisation in the region and, is the second oldest wildfowl conservation organisation in the world.