A CESSNOCK pet store owner is appealing for the safe return of an exotic bird worth about $7500 stolen in a targeted raid yesterday.
John Barrett fears for the welfare of the metre-long male blue and gold macaw parrot and has offered a reward for information leading to its recovery.
The prestige and value of macaws makes them highly desirable on the black market and a prime target.
The two men who robbed Just Birds & Reptiles about 2am in Vincent Street yesterday took nothing but the macaw.
Police said a white Toyota Landcruiser ute and a dark Holden ute pulled up outside.
The men forced open the front door and one stood there while the other went inside and stole the bird.
Mr Barrett said the robbery had upset staff, who raised the seven-month-old bird since it was a chick.
They were concerned the thieves would not know how to handle and care for it.
‘‘We’re not worried about the money,’’ Mr Barrett said.
‘‘That poor bird would be highly agitated and stressed.
‘‘I’m happy to offer a reward to make sure the bird’s back safe.’’
Police are investigating and are appealing for public help.
The man who stood outside the store wore beige long pants, a grey shirt and a dark grey hoodie, police said.
The man who went inside wore dark long pants, white joggers and a light hoodie.
Anyone with information about the robbery should contact Maitland police or Crime Stoppers on 1800333000.