Small pet owners beware—your beloved companion could become prey for an eagle.
A New Brunswick woman is warning other pet owners after it happened to her six-and-a-half-pound Bichon Frise-Pomeranian.
Sonia Doucet-Daigle let her dog Samson outside at around 8:30 p.m on Sunday. She went back into the house to do some laundry, but just as she was about to start the dryer, she heard faint cries coming from outside.
“I knew right away something was wrong,” she told CBC News.
She immediately rushed outside into the darkness where she spotted her dog’s eyes. The rest of him was covered by a large animal, which she first mistook for a lynx.
As she got closer to the animal and what she was witnessing began to sink in, she quickly realized that it was actually a large, black eagle.
Without considering her own safety, she went after the predatory bird.
“I punched him maybe 10, 20 times,” she said. “I didn’t want to waste a moment.”
Once Doucet-Daigle realized the eagle wasn’t backing down, she called her husband, Gilles, who grabbed a shovel.
“It took a lot,” she said. “[The bird] still had Samson in his claws.” But after a few hard hits, the eagle finally let go.
Doucet-Daigle admits that the bird was likely injured when it took off, but she told reporters that she wasn’t about to let it fly away with her dog.
Following some rest and antibiotics prescribed by the vet, Samson is now returning to his old self, but he was in pretty rough shape after the attack. According to reports, he suffered from a few deep puncture wounds on his side, and a large bite inside his mouth. He was also left with a bloody eye and ear.
The little dog is just lucky that he made it out of the encounter alive. Another resident in the area posted about an eagle that attacked his dog, Bella, on Monday. And the birds don’t just go after dogs—last spring, a resident of Campbell River, B.C., captured a video of an eagle stalking a house cat in his neighbour’s backyard.
Eagles don’t have a special taste for small dogs and cats, but when the ground is covered in snow and food sources are scarce, they’re not going to distinguish between small animals who have collars and ones who don’t, says Barry Rothfuss, executive director of the Atlantic Wildlife Institute.
“As terrible as it sounds, they’re just behaving normally,” he told CBC.