Bye, bye birdie.
Buster, a 14-year-old American Kestrel falcon, was stolen from a Nassau County wildlife center Friday afternoon, sending staff and volunteers into a panic.
The bird burglar entered the Volunteers for Wildlife – Wildlife Rehabilitation Center between 1:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. through an unlocked entrance that volunteer and staff use, according to Wildlife Center Supervisor Lauren Schulz. He then cut the perch the fowl was tethered to and fled the scene.
Schulz said the birds at the wildlife center all have ailments that prevent them from living the wild, which could prove dangerous for a domesticated bird like Buster.
“The animals that are with us all have disabilities that don’t allow them to live outside,” she said. “Buster has never been around other falcons, only humans.”
The group expressed concern about the bird’s well-being in a post shared to the Center’s Facebook page Friday afternoon. Staff members asked Facebook users to get the word out by sharing the post. They pleaded with the thief to bring Buster back, noting that his special diet and age make him especially vulerable to the elements.
“We will not press charges. We will not ask questions. We just want him back safely,” the post read. “Please bring Buster home!”
As of Sunday afternoon, the thief is still at large, but Facebook users have been proactive in helping the Wildlife Center bring their feathered friend back hom to roost.
“Shared. Keeping my fingers crossed for buddy’s safe return,” one user wrote.