LONDON (AP) — Police say a hawk being used to patrol skies and deter pigeons from the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships has been stolen.
London police said Saturday that Rufus, the Harrier hawk, was stolen with its cage between Thursday night and Friday morning from a car parked on a private driveway in the southeastern suburb of Wimbledon.
The company that owns the hawk had left a rear window of the car open for ventilation, police say.
The hawk, a family pet, flies above the tennis lawns every day, scaring away smaller birds such as pigeons that could distract the players and bother the audience.
Hawks have been used to clear the skies above Wimbledon during the tournament for about 12 years.