Police are searching for the person or persons who stole a bald eagle from the Quogue Wildlife Refuge on July 16.

Police said an unknown person entered the refuge between 3 and 4:15 a.m. on Tuesday, July 16, cut the fencing around the bird’s enclosure and removed it from the refuge.

The 35-year-old male bald eagle has a partially amputated right wing and is unable to fly, police said in a press release early this morning.

“Sam” has lived at the refuge for 31 years, since May 1988. Quogue Wildlife Refuge staff say the injured bird requires professional care to survive and cannot survive in the wild.

The bald eagle is a federally protected species whose possession without a permit is a federal crime.

Suffolk County Crime Stoppers is offering a cash reward of up to $5,000 for information that leads to an arrest. Anyone with information can contact Suffolk County Crime Stoppers to submit an anonymous tip by calling 1-800-220-TIPS, by texting “SCPD” and your message to “CRIMES” (274637) or by email at www.tipsubmit.com. All calls, text messages and emails will be kept confidential, police said.

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