The owners of a Ballymena pet store have said they are heartbroken following the theft of their much-loved African grey parrot.
They believe the parrot, named Barney, was stolen to order along with a python and other exotic creatures during the break-in at Ladysmith Pet Supplies at the weekend.
He had been at the store for a decade.
Owner Marion McAuley said: “Barney would have greeted us in the morning when we came in, when we left at night he would have said ‘bye’ and he would have had some colourful language as well that we don’t want to repeat!
“But he was a character on his own - people came into the shop to speak to Barney.”
CCTV footage captured an intruder, who had broken in through the roof, stuffing Barney and other exotic creatures including a python into a makeshift sack.
Marion continued: “I think they were stolen to order.
“They took the most expensive things in the shop - tortoises are selling for between £100 to £150 each, the snake was worth £450, chameleons are anything from £150 to £250, so they knew what they were looking for.”
Barney is similar to the other pets stolen from Ladysmith Pet Supplies. He needs specialist handling to survive.
Police have asked to view the film evidence, but all Marion wants for Christmas is to see her beloved parrot safely returned to his perch.