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Exotic black swan stolen from ‘island of misfit rescues’ animal sanctuary in Oregon

Robin Birdsong of Enchanted Farm Sanctuary in Newberg, Oregon, seeks the return of Belladonna Winterspell, a black swan stolen early Sunday morning.
Robin Birdsong of Enchanted Farm Sanctuary in Newberg, Oregon, seeks the return of Belladonna Winterspell, a black swan stolen early Sunday morning. Screengrab from GoFundMe

Robin Birdsong awoke at 2 a.m. Sunday to the honking distress call of Belladonna Winterspell, a black swan at her Enchanted Farm Sanctuary in Oregon, she wrote in a Facebook post.

“All the animals were frantic,” Birdsong wrote. “I rushed outside just in time to catch a brief glimpse of a sedan of some sort peeling out of the driveway.”

All Birdsong could find was “a clump of feathers” — and that’s when she discovered that Belladonna had been stolen, her Facebook post says.

“It took me a minute to realize that she was gone and I think I was in a little bit of shock and denial,” Birdsong said, KOIN reported.

The Yamhill County Sheriff’s Office has opened an investigation into the theft at the sanctuary near Newberg, Oregon, that Birdsong describes as an “island of misfit rescues,” according to the station.

“They’ve all been through the ringer already and now they’re in their forever home of safety, and that’s why it’s even more upsetting that somebody would come on and take Bella,” Birdsong said, KPTV reported.

While black swans are not as rare as commonly thought, they are exotic, hailing from Australia, according to KPTV. Birdsong told the station that she’s heard of the birds selling for as much as $3,000.

Birdsong wrote on Facebook that she’s offering a cash reward for Belladonna’s return, no questions asked.

She also has started a GoFundMe account to fund the reward and help upgrade security at the sanctuary. The account had raised $1,948 toward a $15,000 goal by Tuesday morning.

“I just hope someone would come forward and turn her in and do the right thing – just do the right thing,” Birdsong added, KPTV reported. “Bring her home. This is where she belongs.”

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Don Sweeney has been a newspaper reporter and editor in California for more than 25 years. He has been a real-time reporter based at The Sacramento Bee since 2016.
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