The grey pigeon, a six-year-old male known as “AS 969”, was the most valuable bird the breeder kept, police said on Tuesday following a break-in over the weekend.
He first noticed that it was gone at around 7 am on Sunday morning.
Thieves must have known exactly what they were looking for among the hundreds of other pigeons in the cages housing the breeder's collection, they said.
A police spokeswoman added that while the animal looks just like any other grey pigeon, it has “good genes” which would only be obvious to a fellow pigeon fancier.
The breeder said that the bird had won several prizes and that its offspring were being used for racing in South Africa.