Bald eagle being dragged into sea by octopus saved by salmon farmers

Mollusc takes on bird. Humans intervene

Harry Cockburn
Friday 13 December 2019 21:56 GMT
Salmon fishermen save bald eagle from octopus' grip

This is the moment a team of salmon farmers managed to save a bald eagle from the tentacles of a hungry octopus.

The group were returning to their float house stationed off the Northwest tip of Canada’s Vancouver Island, when they heard splashing and screeching and saw the unlikely contest between the creatures.

The men reportedly watched the struggle for “about five minutes”, before deciding to intervene on behalf of the eagle.

One of the crew, John Ilett, told CNN they saw “a full-sized eagle submerged in the water with a big giant octopus in the water trying to drag it down”.

“We weren’t sure if we should interfere because it is mother nature, survival of the fittest,” Mr Ilett said. “But it was heart wrenching to see this octopus was trying to drown this eagle.”

In the end Mr Ilett used a pole with a small hook to break up the scuffle.

“I was able to just latch on to the octopus and give it a little tug,” he said. “It released its grip ... which gave the eagle just enough time to get to shore.

“Am I at fault because I’m human and I felt compassion for the bird?” he said. “At the end of the day both animals are alive and well and they went their separate ways and we feel pretty good about what we did.”

The incident occurred at a fish farm apparently owned by Norway’s Mowi – the world’s largest salmon fishing company.

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