Orchard Park police say an Ontario man called the organization that owns the carving Tuesday. He said he and some friends rescued it after seeing people trying to burn it.
The 8½-foot statue disappeared from a parking lot across from Ralph Wilson stadium sometime after Sunday's Bills game against the Browns.
The statue was unveiled before Sunday's game and is one of dozens made from trees toppled in a 2006 snowstorm. Proceeds from a fundraising project called Carvings for a Cause go toward new trees.
Carvings for a Cause founder Therese Forton-Barnes says she hasn't seen the statue yet and doesn't know whether it's damaged.