In the wee hours of July 16, Sammy was stolen from his enclosure at the Quogue Wildlife Refuge. That was his home for 31 years, after a gunshot wound left him flightless. There, Sam was cared for and he was loved by the center’s many visitors.
I know the refuge well, as my own daughters, who are now in their 30s, attended the refuge’s annual Summer Field Ecology Program from elementary school through high school. The refuge is home to permanently injured animals that require human care to survive. One of program’s many invaluable lessons is to teach kids greater respect for our planet and its inhabitants.
The theft of Sammy is especially painful in light of the circumstances of the life story of a bird whose species was chosen for its independence, strength and long life in 1782 as the symbol of the USA. I am fearful that whoever stole Sam does not realize the care he needs, nor the consequences of such a senseless act.
I implore the thief to return Sammy to his home, or if someone has knowledge of the crime or the eagle’s whereabouts to please contact the Refuge at 631-653-4771, or Suffolk County Police at 800-220-8477. Perhaps an incentive to come forward is the $20,000 reward.
Whatever the reason, please , please do the right thing.
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One fine body…