ALICE SPRINGS, Australia, July 12 (UPI) — A wedge-tailed eagle attempted to fly away with a young boy watching a wildlife show in the Northern Territory of Australia.
The big bird latched its talons onto the screaming boy’s head, a witness watching the show at Alice Springs Desert Park last week said.
The boy — believed to be 6 — had a “superficial” gash to the face, according to the zoo.
“A fellow who was sitting closer said the little boy kept running his zipper up and down,” Christine O’Connell, who caught the attack with her camera, told the BBC.
The eagle grabbed the boy’s camouflage green hoodie, which was concealing his face, and tried to lift the child away before being stopped by park staff.
Another witness, Keenan Lucas, told NT News: “The bird then flew over the crowd and tried to grab on to a young boy’s head. He screamed, the mother was distraught and the presenters wrapped up the show very quickly. It looked as if the bird tried to pick him up like a small animal and take off with him.”
Alice Springs Desert Park in a statement issued after being contacted by NT News 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 underway and the eagle will be removed from the show while this investigation is ongoing.”
The wedge-tailed eagle is Australia’s largest bird of prey with a wingspan of about 7 1/2 feet.
Not the sharpest photo but lucky just to snap it. 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 it 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 young boy.
A photo posted by Chris | Australia Rural Vic (@55chris) on Jul 10, 2016 at 3:47am PDT