Quogue police said they are searching for a bald eagle after the federally protected bird, an emblem of the United States, was cut out from his cage in a wildlife refuge Tuesday afternoon.
The 35-year-old bird, which cannot fly because its right wing is partly amputated because of an injury, has been at the Quogue Wildlife Refuge on Old Country Road since 1988, police said in a news release.
The bird was discovered missing sometime between 3 and 4:15 a.m., said police, who launched an investigation.
“It was observed that the eagle’s enclosure had been cut with a sharp instrument and the fencing was pulled back to allow access,” the release read. “The Eagle was removed from its enclosure and taken to an unknown location.”
The eagle was sent to the facility by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service after it was injured in the western part of the country, officers said, warning the public that possession of the bald eagle, once an endangered species, is punishable by fines and incarceration.
Detectives urged that anyone with information about the incident call them at 631-653-4791.