Bald Eagle Stolen From Long Island Wildlife Refuge

July 17, 2019 - 9:29 am

QUOGUE, N.Y. (WCBS 880) -- The search is on for a bald eagle that was stolen from a wildlife refuge on Long Island. 

The 35-year-old bald eagle, nicknamed Sam, has lived at the Quogue Wildlife Refuge since 1988.

It was stolen after the eagle's cage was cut open sometime early Tuesday morning. 

Refuge director Michael Nelson said the crime was caught on surveillance video.

"It was definitely premeditated," said Nelson. "That was the only thing that they came in and went for."

The bald eagle was sent to the Suffolk County facility by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service after part of its wing was amputated due to an injury. The bald eagle is unable to fly.

Possession of a bald eagle, which is a federally protected species, is a federal offense punishable by fines and jail time. But Nelson said the center is not looking for prosecution, they just want the eagle back safe and sound — no questions asked.

He fears the bald eagle could die if not brought back.

"It's not an animal that somebody should have as a pet," Nelson said.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Quogue Village Police Department at 631-653-4791.