Piracy of prized peregrine upsets officials at BGSU

11/16/2013
BY MARLENE HARRIS-TAYLOR
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Moseley
Moseley

BOWLING GREEN — Bowling Green State University officials are dismayed over the disappearance of a valuable stuffed peregrine falcon from a locked glass display case in the Life Sciences building, in a case that has been dubbed the “pilfered peregrine” by campus officials.

The piece of taxidermy mysteriously flew the coop between Nov. 8 and Wednesday and the only clue left behind by the thief or thieves is a jimmied lock on the display case.

“If the falcon is returned, we are not interested in pressing charges,” said Jeffrey Miner, chairman of the Department of Biological Sciences. “We just want it back. Please do not throw it out.”

University of Toledo police Chief Jeffrey Newton said there have been no signs of the falcon on the Toledo campus but he will be on the lookout. The information about the missing bird from the neighboring college competitor had the chief on high alert Friday, and he said he will make sure none of UT’s mascots comes up missing.

“Shame on us if someone is able to sneak one [rocket] from under our nose,” he said.

The peregrine falcon has been the BGSU mascot since 1927 and images of the bird are prevalent around the campus. This missing falcon was part of the university’s Ornithology Collection of more than 2,400 birds. About 1,100 specimens are on display on the third and fourth floors of the Life Sciences Building on the north side of campus, BGSU spokesman Dave Kielmeyer said.

The stolen bird may be a part of the original collection of Edwin L. Moseley, a naturalist who was the first professor of science at what was then Bowling Green Normal College, now BGSU, Mr. Kielmeyer said.

University officials are also warning that the stuffed bird should be handled carefully.

“Long-term exposure to preservatives that were commonly used in older taxidermy can be harmful,” Mr. Miner said.

Campus officials ask that the falcon be returned to the Department of Biological Sciences or campus police. A message about its location also can be left at 419-372-2332.