Video captures bald eagle stalking house cat in Vancouver Island backyard

Bald eagle

Vancouver Island residents are keeping a close eye on their cats after watching a video recently captured in Campbell River. 

The video shows a bald eagle stalking a cat in a nearby backyard. The eagle lands just as the feline jumps onto the nearby fence. Shortly after, it swoops onto the fence, causing the cat to quickly jump off into a wooded area behind the yard.

May 5, 2016 – Eagle hunting cat in a backyard

This is a video of the eagle hunting a cat on Strathcona Way in #CampbellRiver yesterday. This eagle landed in the backyard — which many people say that eagles cannot do. Here is video proof! These same birds were seen hunting a different cat earlier yesterday, just a few houses down from here. These birds are conditioned to human activity and have no fear! Please keep your cats and little dogs inside and keep them safe. Keep an extra eye on your small children. These eagles have babies right now and are aggressively hunting. Video shared with permission from Tania Bonner Hardy.

Posted by SHARE Lost and Found Animals of Campbell River on Friday, May 6, 2016

The cat was later identified by Campbell River resident Barry Wayne Martin, who confirmed that his pet is now safe and sound.

But according to reports, this isn’t the first time locals have seen bald eagles swooping down on cats in the community. Vancouver Island resident Jasmine Meyers told CTV that her cat, Emo Joe, was scooped up by an eagle last year.

Meyers says it’s not unusual behaviour in the area, and those who commented on the Facebook video seemed to agree. 

“Just [saw] an eagle carrying an orange cat over Soderholm Road. It’s startin’ up again, watch your animals!” one person wrote. 

“We lost our nine-year-old lilac Himalayan cat on Good Friday to eagles,” said another.

Meyers hopes that this video serves as a warning to other pet owners, no matter how big their cats or dogs are. She told CTV that she always assumed her 22-pound cat, who was larger than her dogs, was too big to be a target. Learning otherwise, she now takes extra precaution with her pets.

“…we can’t even let our dogs out at this point without babysitting them,” she said. 

If it all sounds far-fetched, consider a webcam monitoring a bald eagle’s nest in Pittsburg, which recently captured one of the predatory birds feeding a brown-and-white cat to its eaglets. The group behind the webcam said that, although it might be unpleasant to watch, the eagles bring squirrels, rabbits, and other small animals back to the nest multiple times a day. 

“To people, the cat represents a pet but to the eagles and to other raptors, the cat is a way to sustain the eaglets and help them to grow,” they wrote on their Facebook page.