Buckingham, Florida (News-Press) -- A South Florida bird breeder says her business is in jeopardy after burglars stole approximately 350 of her birds overnight Monday.
Sandra Kortz, 68, said the 160 breeding pairs of rare parrots were stolen from an aviary behind her home on Skates Circle. She said the birds are valued at more than $80,000.
"It blew me away," Kortz said, adding the birds were not insured. "It has screwed up my business, and they have destroyed our retirement."
She said there were dozens of types of birds stolen, including different types of parakeets and macaws.
Kortz told deputies she last saw the birds Monday night and woke up Tuesday morning to find them missing. She said she didn't hear anyone in her backyard during the night.
She told investigators the thieves likely got into her yard by climbing a fence, entering the aviary and taking the birds from their cages.
Kortz said she doesn't know who could have taken the birds, but she has put the word out to several breeders asking them to keep a lookout for them. She said it wouldn't take long for the burglars to load up the birds if they brought cages to haul them away.
"I've worked too long and too hard to have someone come in and do this in two minutes," she said. "Right now, I don't know what I'm going to do."