Two endangered turtles that were in a zoo enclosure were taken.
The male Coahuilan Box Turtles were reported missing and a lock broken on Saturday morning, according to Dudley Zoo.
It claimed to be the only zoo in the nation to house a collection of animals that can only be found in Mexico.
A spokesperson stated that the animals may have been "stolen to order" and that the theft was likely targeted.
A zoo spokesperson expressed, "We are incredibly concerned about their welfare.
They are a small, native to Mexico species of exotic reptile that spends the majority of its time in the water.
"We must immediately return them because they need specialized care. ".
The smaller turtle measures approximately 15 cm (6 in) in length, while the larger turtle measures 17 cm (7 in).
Richard Brown, the zoo's curator, said it was "critical those [conditions] are correct otherwise those species will not do well." They require specialized conditions, such as heating and diet.
The exhibit where the animals were taken is accessible from a public hallway at the front of the zoo, according to the keepers.
The zoo, according to Mr. Brown, was "absolutely devastated" by the theft.
They are an extremely rare and endangered species, he said. "Holding these species is a privilege we take very seriously.
For such a specialized species, he said, "they've probably been stolen on purpose.".
The zoo announced that a thorough investigation into security in its reptile house, where the turtles were stolen, had been launched.
A spokesperson stated that additional bolts and window locks had been installed, and staff would continue to monitor the area until security work was finished.
Security has always been a top priority, Mr. Brown said. "People shouldn't go to zoos to steal animals; it's a zoo. ".
The National Wildlife Crimes Unit and the West Midlands Police, who are collaborating on the investigation, have each issued a request for anyone with information regarding the turtles' whereabouts.