A distraught Norwich family has offered a £100 reward for the return of their treasured pet – a barn owl called Zsa Zsa.

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Police said the captive-bred bird of prey was either stolen or released after burglars forced their way into a summer-house at the back of the home on Earlham Grove.

Mother-of-three Ann Davison said her family was heartbroken at Zsa Zsa’s disappearance, which had been particularly difficult to bear for the children: Lewis, 15, Billy, 10, and three-year-old Poppy,

Miss Davison and her partner Tommy Green are prepared to pay £100 for any information leading to the owl’s safe return.

She said: “We just want her back. She is such a loving pet and I am so worried about her, and whether the person who has got her knows how to look after her, because a barn owl is not a standard pet.

“The children really miss her. We have had a lot of tears.”

“She is not valuable at all, so I cannot think why anyone would want to take her. The police said someone might have seen us flying her and thought they would like to do it.

Zsa Zsa, who shares her name with Hungarian-born Hollywood legend Zsa Zsa Gabor, had been with the family for 16 months, after they raised her from a chick. She lived outdoors tethered to a perch during the summer, but in colder months she stayed indoors inside the family’s summer-house.

If returned, she can be identified by the ring fitted around one of her claws.

Nothing else was stolen during the break-in, which happened between 11pm on November 22 and 7am the following morning. The intruders got into the back garden via a passageway near the former Grove pub.

Miss Davison said: “The children have got bikes in there and there are lawnmowers, but none of that is gone. The police said she (Zsa Zsa) may have been stolen to order. To think someone was roaming about your property is awful, but I was absolutely distraught when I found out the owl had gone.”

Anyone with information should call Earlham police station on 101.

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