With a 2.3-meter wingspan, Australia’s largest bird of prey the wedge-tailed eagle is known to carry off some sizable prey, but nothing nearly the size of the young boy who was attacked at a recent nature show.
Christine O’Connell was attending a wildlife demonstration at Alice Spring Desert Park in Australia when a young boy in a green sweatshirt in the first row started fiddling with his zipper. Apparently the bird didn’t like it because instead of going a tree stump for a photo opportunity it attacked the kid.
O’Connell captured the moment on camera and posted the image to Instagram, which has since garnered media attention.
Confirming the incident with The Guardian newspaper, park officials said the incident was under investigation.
“On Wednesday, 6 July, an incident occurred at the Alice Springs Desert Park where an eagle made contact with an audience member,” the spokeswoman told the media outlet. “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.”
As soon as the bird attacked the child, the show was reportedly halted. One observer, Kennan Lucas, told the Herald Sun the mother was distraught.
“We’re at the bird show in the afternoon, having a great time and looking forward to seeing the wedge-tailed eagle come out for the finale,” Lucas said.
“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.”
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.