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Wimbledon pigeon-scaring hawk Rufus stolen

July 1, 2012 - London

A hawk that was tasked with chasing off pigeons at Wimbledon's tennis championships has been stolen.

The American Harris hawk, named Rufus, was taken together with its cage and handling glove overnight between Thursday and Friday from a car parked in Wimbledon.

Rufus was in the car on a private driveway in Dunstall Road with its rear window open for ventilation.

For the past four years, the hawk has spent every morning of the Championships scaring pigeons away from the hallowed grass.

Owner of the Wimbledon vigilante, Imogen Davis said that she was still in shock after Rufus's disappearance.

'It's really, really sad. 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," the Daily Mail quoted her as saying.

"We're very shocked - we just want to know that he is OK.

Davis revealed that Rufus was reared by the family-run business, Avian Environmental Consultants.

"We work as a team together. To have him taken away like that is just horrible.

"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," she added.

Rufus has become a well-known fixture at the South-West London tennis club, with visitors often stopping to ask for photos with the hawk.

He even has his own Twitter account, but there has not been a tweet for a day.


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