Thieves take flight with bird rescue van

By Te Ao Māori News

A Wellington charity that cares for and rehomes native and non-native bird life had their white Toyota Hiace van (pictured) stolen on Friday afternoon from outside of PetVet in Lower Hutt while volunteers were picking up baby birds that needed care.

The Wellington Bird Rehabilitation Trust van, which displayed the trust’s poster in its rear windows was also carrying hundreds of dollars worth of potting mix for a newly established plant nursery being built to help cover the growing costs of caring for and rehabilitating the birds.

The missing van (Source: Facebook/ Wellington Bird Rehabilitation Trust).

Founding trustee of the charity Craig Shepherd is devastated about the theft, stating, "Although there will be some insurance cover, it won’t replace what we had”.

The van was used for transporting birds to and from the vet, taking birds to relocation sites, picking up supplies, going on rescue missions & was soon to be used to transport plants from the nursery.

News of the missing van was posted over Facebook this weekend but despite being seen once in the Hutt on Saturday night it is still missing.

A Givealittle page has been set up to help the charity pay for a replacement van and to replace the potting mix. It is hoped that donations from the community will allow them to also have the van (If retrieved) sign written with their logo to stop it from being stolen again.

The Wellington Bird Rehabilitation Trust take in all types of native and non-native birds who have been orphaned or are in otherwise in need of care, funded only by donations from the public and their sponsor, Harbour City Security Ltd.

The trust provides treatment, rehabilitation & refuge to over 400 birds each year ranging from the orphaned, sick, and injured, to casualties of diesel, oil, tar, and paint spill tragedies.

Anyone with information on the missing vehicle is encouraged to contact the police as soon as possible. 

Anonymous callers can contact Crimestoppers free on 0800 555 111. Crimestoppers gives an absolute guarantee that calls cannot be traced.