Kidnapping a family pet is a monstrous thing to do, but the crime one individual recently committed was wrong on an entirely different level.

Quogue Wildlife Refuge was home to an injured Bald Eagle named Sam. Last Monday, during the late hours of the night, he was cruelly stolen from his habitat.

Source: ABC 7 News

Surveillance footage recorded footage of someone leaving the refuge with what appeared to be a bag at around 2:30 a.m.. The authorities are searching for the individual now; the suspect drove over LIRR train tracks that have license plate readers, so hopefully the investigation won’t take too much time.

Not only is a Bald Eagle a strong and dangerous wild animal and could hurt innocent people — Sam has special needs as a result of an injury. As such, the eagle might not survive without the specialized care the refuge was providing.

The refuge has been Sam’s permanent home since 1988, when he suffered a gunshot wound to his right wing. Because the wing had to be amputated during surgery, he lost the ability to fly.

He requires a specific diet and, given that he is a wild animal, requires an expert handler.

Source: ABC 7 News

“We are asking if anyone has any information to call us right away, whoever has him please return him safely to us,” a representative of the refuge said. “Time is of the essence, he needs specific care so we really want him back safely and soon.”

Source: ABC 7 News

The Quogue Wildlife Refuge and the authorities are offering a cash reward of up to $10,000 for information that will lead to an arrest. (Anyone with information is asked to call (631) 653-4771 or email info@quoguewildliferefuge.org.)

Bald Eagles can live 20-30 years in the wild and up to 50 in captivity. Sam has been a staple at the refuge for three decades and needs to be returned home. Hopefully, the authorities can locate the thief quickly and bring them to justice.