Caught on camera: Search underway to find stolen bald eagle
Police are searching for the person who they say cut and pried open a bald eagle's cage and stole the bird from the Quogue Wildlife Refuge.
Surveillance video of the incident shows a man with a baseball cap with what appears to be a bag at about 4:15 a.m. Tuesday driving away from the facility. Police and wildlife officials believe the bald eagle was in the bag.
The bald eagle named Sam has been living at the refuge for the past 30 years. Sam suffered a gunshot wound that resulted in the amputation of his right wing.
Wildlife officials say it would have been very difficult to remove the bald eagle from the enclosure without a struggle. They are hoping for the best.
"He's a very strong bird. We don't even handle him because it stresses him out," says Marisa Nelson who cared for Sam. "He likes his space and we are very sad and we are very concerned about this eagle."
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is warning the public that possession of a bald eagle is punishable by fines and incarceration.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Quogue Village Police Department at 631-653-4791.