Hawk that Protects London Heathrow Stolen From Outside Airport Hotel

Two years ago a Saudi prince bought plane tickets for his 80 falcons.

Planes are often referred to as birds, and birds of prey are particularly aviation-friendly. At Heathrow hawks are used to scare away other birds as a safety measure. They help prevent bird strikes, which can take out aircraft engines and lead to dangerous conditions not to mention damage to aircraft.

One of the hawks watching over London’s Heathrow was stolen from outside the Mercure hotel.

CCTV footage captures the moment a gang smash a window of the locked vehicle and grab the distressed bird of prey.

Police are hunting a gang that smashed a window of the parked vehicle outside a hotel near the airport on Tuesday evening and snatched six-year-old Milo from his box on the back seat.

Apparently the handler left him in a vehicle alone for 30 minutes, which is when thieves struck. And it’s not easy to steal a hawk. One of the villains “tried to get him out by using the falconry glove I had in the back, but he wouldn’t come with them at first” so “grabbed him forcefully, he was flapping and very distressed.”

A reward is being offered for information leading to the return of the Heathrow Birdstrike Defense Hawk. Airline passengers flying out of the airport will thank you, too.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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