- Sammy, a bald eagle who has one wing, disappeared from his cage on July 16.
- Quogue Wildlife Refuge, where he lives, wants him back. There is a $12,500 reward out of the bird’s safe return, police said on Saturday.
- The bird, also known as Sam, has been missing for about a week, but he has yet to turn up.
- Refuge assistant director Marisa Nelson told Newsday that she is worried. “It’s emotionally so difficult and overwhelming. Every hour of the day is so long, and the more time that goes by, the more we’re concerned.”
- She also told Newsday that the refuge does not plan to press charges – they just want the bird back alive.
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In the early morning hours of Tuesday, July 16, a bird went missing.
The Suffolk County Crime stoppers and the Quogue Village police believe that the bird, Sammy, a bald eagle who has one wing, was taken from his enclosure between 2:15 and 4:15 a.m. They believe the person or people responsible for the alleged theft cut around the 35-year-old bird’s enclosure and took him in the early morning.
“He will be stressed and cannot survive without our care,” the refuge said in a post. “We want him back unharmed.”
The bird, also known as Sam, has been missing for nearly a week now. During a press conference on Saturday, Quogue Village Police Chief Christopher Isola said, that search has taken investigators “throughout the tri-state area and into several states” in search of the bird. They said the reward for the bird has been raised to $12,500.
Sammy came to the refuge after he was shot, which led to the amputation of his wing, refuge officials told Newsday. Because of his amputation, the bird cannot fly.
The refuge’s assistant director Marisa Nelson told Newsday that she is worried about the bald eagle, who has been with the refuge for 31 years.
“It’s emotionally so difficult and overwhelming,” she said. “Every hour of the day is so long, and the more time that goes by, the more we’re concerned”
Nelson said the support of the community is giving the refuge hope during this distressing time.
“It’s terrible to worry when you don’t know what to worry about,” she said. “We don’t know if he’s alive and well somewhere or if he’s not. We are trying to keep hope. We’re getting a lot of emotional support from the community because a lot of people cared about this bird.”
Bald eagles, like Sam, are federally protected, Nelson told Newsday. She told the outlet that without a proper license, it is illegal to possess a bald eagle or any part of a bird, including its feathers.
But she told Newsday that the refuge does not plan to press charges regarding this incident. “Just bring the bird back alive or drop it off at a local vet alive and that’s it,” she said. “We just want him back alive, unharmed.”
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