A young boy was left injured at Alice Springs Desert Park, in Australia’s Northern Territory. The way it happened is almost unbelievable.
As he sat on the bleachers with his parents, watching a daily bird show put on by park staff, a wedge-tailed eagle flew directly at him from 15 meters away. As it approached, the massive bird extended its talons, grabbing the boy’s jacket and attempting to pull him into the air.
The eagle, which is part of the bird show, was released according to plan for the show’s finale. It struggled with the boy for several seconds after latching on, until park staff intervened.
With an average wingspan of nine feet (yes – nine feet), the wedge-tailed eagle is easily the largest raptor in Australia. The massive bird usually feeds on wallabies, rabbits and small kangaroos, and the occasional sick or dying lamb (1). Though difficult to imagine, it makes sense that this large, winged predator would see a human child as prey.
The bird show was cancelled immediately after the attack. Witnesses say the boy was wounded, however superficially. The eagle in question has been removed from the show, pending a “thorough investigation” by park staff.
Story originally posted by BBC World News: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-36771205
Photo Credit: CHRISTINE O’CONNELL / INSTAGRAM: 55CHRI