A Wimbledon Birdnapping Mystery

The beloved hawk that serves as pest control above the Wimbledon lawns has been stolen. Fowl play suspected.

Meet Rufus, a Harris hawk who for several years has dutifully patrolled the courts and grounds of Wimbledon scaring away any pigeons that may cross his path. As the 2012 Wimbledon Championships rage on, a somber air blows through the stadium as Rufus was reported stolen by London police on Friday. Although Rufus is owned by a company, he is also a family bird according to ESPN:

“Police said the family is “very distressed” about the theft of the 4½-year-old hawk, which is trained not to attack but to circle the courts to scare off smaller birds.”

With no clear suspects or motives, one can only hope for the safe return of Rufus to his loving family and post above Wimbledon. Should you find yourself in London this week keep an eye out for Rufus with some more idea of what he looks like below.

(I’d also like to apologize for that “fowl” pun in the lede. Hawks hunt fowl. I just couldn’t help myself)

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