Missing Connecticut bald eagle feared stolen


ASHFORD, Conn. (AP) — A bald eagle missing from a Connecticut bird rehabilitation center was likely stolen, the organization says.

Atka, a 10-year-old male eagle that cannot fly because of a permanent shoulder injury, went missing between late Sunday afternoon and about 8:30 a.m. Monday, said Jeanne Wadsworth, vice president of Horizon Wings Raptor Rehabilitation & Education.

Mary-Beth Kaeser, owner and founder of Horizon Wings in Ashford, found Atka missing when she went to feed him Monday morning. She found the door to his aviary open and the lock on the ground.

Connecticut State Police, the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are investigating.

Kaeser fears that if someone took the eagle, they may harm him.

“There is a black market for them and there is a black market for their feathers,” Kaeser said. “Some people don’t care how they get their money and that is my biggest fear.”

Staff at the center have also been searching just in case someone left his aviary door open and he tried to hop away.

Atka came to the center about nine years ago and is used in its education programs.

Anyone with information about Atka’s whereabouts is asked to call Horizon Wings or state police.