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Hawk Rufus returns to Wimbledon
Wimbledon's hawk was back at the All England Club with his relieved owners on Monday morning after being found dumped in its box at the weekend.
Rufus, a Harris hawk, patrols the skies before and after play during the tournament to ward away other birds. The hawk was stolen overnight between Thursday and Friday from a car parked on a private drive in nearby Dunstall Road, which had its window open for ventilation.
Owner Imogen Davis said Rufus, reared by the family-run business Avian Environmental Consultants, was discovered still in his box and in bushes on Wimbledon Common on Saturday.
"He was found at Wimbledon Common and somebody, whoever found him, took him to the RSPCA in Putney," she said.
"They did it on Saturday but we didn't find out until last night (Sunday). I don't know if they knew (he was the Wimbledon hawk).
"We'd been searching in Wimbledon yesterday. When we heard he was at the RSPCA, we darted down there and I was thinking, 'Please be Rufus', and it was.
"He had been in his box on Wimbledon Common. Because he was in his box he hasn't been too stressed.
"We haven't managed to get in touch with the people who took him to the RSPCA yet so we need to get in touch with them.
"He didn't have any food in his box which is why when it got to last night we were really worried.
"But that's when we found he'd been taken to the RSPCA on Saturday and he'd been well looked after."