London - The highly-trained hawk used to scare pigeons away from the pristine grass courts of Wimbledon was returned to its owners on Sunday after being stolen during the first week of the tennis tournament.
Rufus, a Harris Hawk, was off-duty in his cage when he was snatched by thieves last Thursday but is now home after being handed into offices of The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, police said on Sunday.
Rufus' Twitter account, written by his owners, said: "We can confirm the news is true RUFUS HAS BEEN FOUND safe and well and reunited with family!! Thank you so much for your support FindRufus".
Visitors to the world's most famous tennis tournament often stop to have their picture taken with the four-and-a-half year old, which was reared by the family-run business Avian Environmental Consultants.