Search for stolen cockatoo

Jacko the cockatoo. (Facebook/Home Timber and Hardware)

By Luke Voogt

Update: Jacko has returned home safely.

The theft of “Drysdale icon” Jacko has prompted a desperate plea for his safe return from the hardware store the beloved cockatoo calls home.

“I’m happy to receive a phone call,” Drysdale Home Timber and Hardware manager Ben Garvey said.

“We won’t name you, we won’t charge you – it will be kept completely silent.”

Mr Garvey said he was happy to pick up Jacko “no questions asked” or for someone to drop off the cockatoo anonymously and give staff five minutes’ notice, to prevent him escaping into the wild.

“He just won’t survive in the wild – he can’t fly. We’re hoping someone’s still got him.”

The store’s nursery manager Katrina Neocli, who cares for Jacko, arrived on Sunday and found his cage had been broken into.

CCTV footage from the Murradoc Road store shows an unknown man walking away with a cockatoo at 9.16pm on Saturday night.

“They entered the property, took the bird and left,” Mr Garvey said.

“The feeling in the store is just devastation – we’re devastated.”

The yellow-crested cockatoo, believed to be 23-years-old, has been at the store for 13 years, according to Mr Garvey.

“He’s only a young adult in cockatoo years – they can live up to 100, which means he’s still got [many] years ahead of him,” he said.

Mr Garvey believes the bird, which requires regular veterinary care due to a previous injury, was passed onto the store by a previous owner.

“He requires special care to get his beak trimmed,” he said.

“He’s a Drysdale icon. People adore him and bring their kids in to see him. He’s like our concierge. He greets people and says ‘hello’ or ‘hello Jacko’.

“He’s a complete charmer. He dances when he’s excited and he loves to sit on people’s shoulders and go for a walk.

“I don’t know why, but he gets really excited about ladies. He’s just a wonderful little person.”

Victoria Police this week released an image from the CCTV footage showing a man walking away from the store with a cockatoo.

They urged anyone with information to phone Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.