One week after being stolen from a south Edmonton backyard, it appears at least some prized pigeons have been released.
The Edmonton Police Service shared security video of a man stealing the birds in the Cavanagh neighbourhood on Oct. 18 at about 9:30 p.m.
According to officers, the competition pigeons are worth more than $13,000.
Now it appears at least some of the birds have been let go.
There have been several posts on social media about people finding pigeons in the Strathcona County area.
One woman discovered a white pigeon with a pink tail in her Sherwood Park backyard.
She posted a photo of it to the Edmonton Racing Pigeons Facebook page, where she was told the bird is actually a high flying pigeon.
Edmonton’s High Flyers club connected her with the owner, who confirmed the bird was part of the group stolen in Edmonton.
The pigeon flew off before the owner was able to retrieve it.
Then, another woman posted on Facebook that she had found a white bird with a pink tail.
Lauren Vanderveen is the manager of Joey restaurant in Sherwood Park and says a co-worker discovered the pigeon in a fenced-off area at the back of the restaurant.
“We were lucky we had somebody in our back of house know how to properly handle her and use gloves and put her in a box,” Vanderveen told Global News.
“She was very tame. She didn’t try to fly away or anything. I’m sure she was just scared and cold at that point.”
Vanderveen contacted several animal rescues and police and was connected with the Edmonton owner.
He confirmed the bird was one that had been stolen.
Vanderveen fed and kept the bird overnight, reuniting it with the grateful owner Wednesday.
“Obviously, 45 of them were stolen, but already some of them have turned up that have passed away. So he’s like, ‘You really don’t understand how nice it is to get them home in one piece,’” Vanderveen said of the reunion.
A spokesperson with the EPS said so far, four birds have been recovered with ankle bracelets. One of those birds was dead. Police say the ankle bracelets display the digits 7485. No suspect has been arrested in the case.