July 17 (UPI) -- A wildlife refuge in New York state is pleading for the return of a disabled bald eagle that was stolen from the facility.
The Quogue Wildlife Refuge said someone broke into the facility's Outdoor Wildlife Complex in Long Island between 5 p.m. Monday and 7:30 a.m. Tuesday.
The intruders stole Sam, a bald eagle that has lived at the facility since 1988, when he was injured by a gunshot would and had his right wing amputated.
The theft is believed to have occurred about 4:16 a.m. Tuesday, when security camera footage recorded someone loading an object that appeared to be a bag into a vehicle and driving away.
"He will be stressed and cannot survive without our care," the refuge said in a Facebook post. "We want him back unharmed. It is a federally protected bird and cannot survive in the wild as he has an amputated wing."
Bald eagles have a lifespan of 20-30 years in the wild, but have been known to live up to 50 years in captivity.