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Jul 17, 2019 10:27 AMPublication: The East Hampton Press

Injured Bald Eagle Stolen From Quogue Wildlife Refuge

The eagle that has resided at the Quogue Wildlife Refuge for decades was taken from its enclosure.  PRESS FILE
Jul 17, 2019 11:24 AM

The Quogue Wildlife Refuge’s only bald eagle was stolen from its enclosure early Tuesday morning. As of Wednesday, it was still missing.

At 8:30 a.m., refuge staff found an empty enclosure that was cut open, according to Cara Fernandes, the refuge’s program coordinator.

They believe that the eagle was taken by an adult man between 3 and 4:15 a.m., based on security footage from cameras in the parking lot, she added.

“I think we’re all shocked,” Ms. Fernandes said.

The 35-year-old male bald eagle, whose name is Sam, had its right wing amputated and has lived at the refuge for 31 years. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service transported him there after it injured its wing in the Western United States.

Ms. Fernandes noted that Sam lost his ability to fly as a result of his injury and cannot survive without their care.

They were unable to identify the suspect from the video footage, but she said that the Quogue Village Police Department is working with the Department of Environmental Conservation to develop any leads.

Taking and possessing a bald eagle is a federal offense and is punishable by up to a $5,000 fine or up to one year of imprisonment, or both.

The Suffolk County Police Department issued a press release Tuesday evening on behalf of the Quogue Police Department, and the refuge posted the news on its social media pages.

“We’re hoping any additional word out could help the cause and could keep people on the lookout,” Ms. Fernandes said.

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Absolutely terrible. Praying for Sam's safe return.
By CampHero (10), East Quogue on Jul 17, 19 11:19 AM
2 members liked this comment
I'm with you on that.
By Craigcat (258), Speonk on Jul 17, 19 5:46 PM
It takes special type of scumbag to steal a bald eagle from a wildlife refuge : (
By Aeshtron (431), Southampton on Jul 17, 19 1:25 PM
Absolutely disgusting. I really hope that Sam comes back safely.
By Mark Hissey (171), East Quogue on Jul 18, 19 12:22 AM
That $5000 fine should be doubled!
By toes in the water (884), southampton on Jul 18, 19 7:15 AM
Why are no other media outlets showing the end of this video clip with the man holding the large chunk of stone? Maybe it’s not relevant because it appears the eagle had already been taken, but it’s definitely strange.
By Nicolejoan (2), Remsenburg on Jul 18, 19 8:24 AM
This is absolutely horrifying., Hopefully Sam will soon be returned to his home of 31 years and the individual who removed -- stole -- him will be prosecuted.
By Phyllisann (18), Lebanon on Jul 18, 19 3:01 PM
This is absolutely horrifying., Hopefully Sam will soon be returned to his home of 31 years and the individual who removed -- stole -- him will be prosecuted.
By Phyllisann (18), Lebanon on Jul 18, 19 3:03 PM