A bold giant eagle tried to snatch a young boy during a birds of prey show gone awry in Australia. The only part of the boy visible to the eagle was the his face, as the rest was hidden by the child's bright green hoodie. Another visitor at the bird display snapped a terrifying picture of the enormous eagle latching onto the boy’s bright green hoodie with its sharp talons.
When she posted it on Instagram, Christine O’Connell wrote that the boy had been playing with his hoodie zipper during the show. “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,” she wrote in the caption.
“He screamed, the mother was distraught, and the presenters wrapped up the show very quickly,” witness Keenan Lucas told to media.
“It looked as if the bird tried to pick him up like a small animal and take off with him.” He said that the staff handled it well and wrapped up the show in short order. “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,” the park said in a statement.
John Parks, a Cornell University animal science professor, said that the eagle could have been hunting when he grabbed the child. “Instinctively they are carnivorous animals that are looking for something to eat, or defending themselves from something that may be a threat,” he told National Geographic. “That’s just the nature of the beast.” Though wedge-tailed eagles are Australia’s largest birds of prey, the lucky little boy walked away with only superficial injuries.