Eagle tries to carry off Australian boy

celeb902Published: July 27, 2016Updated: August 3, 2016223 views
Published: July 27, 2016Updated: August 3, 2016

'Those talons are huge, he was a very lucky boy,' bystander says

A wedge-tailed eagle tried to fly away with a terrified boy at a popular wildlife show in central Australia.

A crowd of stunned onlookers watched the enormous bird latch its talons on to the screaming boy's head during a show at Alice Springs Desert Park.

Witnesses said the bird attempted to pick him up "like a small animal".

The boy - believed to be between six and eight years old - escaped with a "superficial" gash to his face.

Christine O'Connell from Horsham in Victoria state was visiting the park with her husband on 6 July when the attack occurred.

She told the BBC the eagle flew straight for the boy from about 15m away.

The seven-year-old was visiting Alice Springs Desert Park with his family in central Australia when the eagle swooped down, apparently aggravated, and took his hood and head in its talons.

He was reportedly pulling the zip on his camouflage jacket up and down repeatedly before the eagle changed course and headed his way in the middle of the show.

Christine O'Connelly, who was standing nearby, described the moment she captured on camera at the nature beauty spot in the Northern Territory

"At a nature park in Alice Springs we decided to go to a bird show the young boy in the green kept pulling his zipper up and down.

For some reason the wedge-tailed eagle did not like [the boy pulling at his zip] and instead of flying over to the log he is meant to, for a photo opportunity, he flew straight at the young boy and attacked him,

The show was quickly cancelled and the boy taken off to first aid. Those talons are huge, he was a very lucky boy."
Others said it may have been confused by the color of his hoodie. Tourist Keenan Lucas told The Herald Sun:

"The bird flew over the crowd and tried to grab on to a young boy's head,

It looked as if the bird tried to pick him up like a small animal and take off with him.' Mr Lucas said the boy was screaming and his mother was distraught."

The park was unable to confirm what had prompted the attack on Tuesday, telling reporters the incident was 'under investigation'. A Parks and Wildlife spokesman for the NT government said :

"On Wednesday, July 6, an incident occurred at the Alice Springs Desert Park where an eagle made contact with an audience member.

A thorough investigation regarding the circumstances behind this incident is under way and the eagle will be removed from the show while this investigation is ongoing,"

They added it was the first time the bird had ever attacked an audience member at one of its shows.

The wedge-tailed eagle is Australia's largest bird of prey and is also found in parts of New Guinea, Papua New Guinea and Indonesia.

The birds are known to be adaptable in their search for prey, having been found hunting hare and rabbits as well as driving herds of kangaroo and sheep to identify weaker animals.

It is registered as endangered by the Australian government and there are fewer than 200 pairs left in the wild.

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