Injured Simon the owl stolen from NJ rehab center

AP News

12/16/2011 3:45:09 PM - AP News

A partly blind and flightless owl adored by New Jersey schoolchildren has been stolen from a center that nurses injured birds of prey.

The theft of Simon the owl occurred late Wednesday or Thursday, when someone cut open an outdoor cage.

It has left the director of The Raptor Trust heartbroken. Len Soucey tells The Daily Record newspaper of Parsippany (http://mycj.co/s21HCQ) he fears the Eastern screech owl won't survive long outside the rehabilitation center.

The owl was struck by a car in Bangor, Pa., six years ago. It has dietary and neurological issues.

The thief could face state and federal charges. But Soucey says he won't press charges if the owl is returned alive.

The Eastern screech owl is New Jersey's most common owl. It has bright yellow eyes and generally measures 6 to 10 inches long.