Stolen falcon anonymously returned to wildlife center

A federally protected falcon that was stolen from its perch at an animal rescue center was mysteriously returned in what workers are calling a Christmas miracle.



The American kestrel falcon, named Buster, was taken from the Volunteers of Wildlife Center in Locust Valley on Friday. His leash had apparently been cut.



Members of the Volunteer Wildlife Center took to the media about Buster's plight. They spread the word that the 14-year-old bird had spent its entire life at the center and didn't have any instincts to survive outside. He also requires specialized care and a very specific diet.



About 48 hours after he first went missing, Buster was discovered around 8 p.m. Sunday in a box left outside the volunteer's entrance. An attached anonymous note said the box had been spotted on the side of a road.



Sanctuary officials say Buster was a little stressed upon his return, but he's getting plenty of care and is doing well now.



The wildlife center has no security cameras, but after Buster's ordeal, sanctuary officials say they're planning to install them.


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