Bald eagle with amputated wing stolen from Long Island wildlife refuge

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Thursday, July 18, 2019
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NJ Burkett reports on the bald eagle stolen from Quogue Wildlife Refuge.

QUOGUE, Long Island (WABC) -- The search is on for a missing bald eagle that was stolen from Quogue Wildlife Refuge this week.

The organization said their resident eagle, Sam, was stolen overnight between Monday and Tuesday and he cannot survive without their care.

Video showed someone with what appeared to be a bag at about 2:30 a.m. Tuesday, before driving away from the refuge. Police said the thief drove over LIRR tracks that have a license plate reader.

Sam has lived in the Outdoor Wildlife Complex since 1988. He suffered a gunshot wound to his right wing which had to be amputated due to the injury.

The refuge is Sam's permanent home due to his inability to fly. He also has a specific diet.

Assistant Director Marissa Nelson said said Sam requires expert handling.

"We are asking if anyone has any information to call us right away, whoever has him please return him safely to us," Nelson said. "Time is of the essence, he needs specific care so we really want him back safely and soon."

A bald eagle's lifespan is 20 to 30 years in the wild and up to 50 years in captivity.

A cash reward of up to $10,000 is being offered for information that leads to an arrest.

Police and the Suffolk County SPCA are investigating. Anyone with information is asked to call (631) 653-4771 or email


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