15:45 03 July 2012
Rufus, the hawk that serves as Wimbledon skies’ pet and patroller, has been found and has been returned to its owners after having been stolen four days ago. Although Rufus is driven home to Corby every day, he was, for the first time, kept overnight in a parked car on the night he was stolen.
The hawk was found in Southfields, South-West London inside his box. He was handed in at a local RSPCA in Putney before he was finally reunited with its owners.
Rufus is a four-year-old Harris hawk that has become a popular fixture at the South-West London club where his main task is to scare away the pigeons that flock to Centre Court. The hawk was stolen from the car of his owners on Thursday night, along with his travel box and handling glove. The car was parked on their private drive.
The search for Rufus was led by officers of the Metropolitan Police, who now confirmed that he had been found safe and was promptly returned to his owners.
Rufus’ owner, Imogen Davies, 25, runs Avian Environmental Consultants together with his family. They have been looking for the hawk all weekend, launching a huge Twitter campaign supported by the Merton Police.
Through the hawk’s Twitter account, which is maintained by his owners, confirmed the news of his safe return, ending the tweet with the hashtag #FindRufus. Davies also expressed her gratitude. His Twitter account now has almost 2,000 followers, and the hawk is nothing short of a celebrity among Wimbledon fans, who often ask to have photos taken with him.
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