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Nature & Environment

Fish farmers rescue eagle from giant octopus

By T.K. Randall
December 14, 2019 · Comment icon 14 comments

The octopus had the eagle firmly in its grip. Image Credit: Facebook / Mowi Canada West
The struggling animals were recently encountered off the northwest tip of Canada's Vancouver Island.
The men had been returning to their float house last Monday when they became aware of a commotion in the water nearby and headed over to investigate.

They were shocked to discover a giant octopus attempting to drag a bald eagle under the water.

After initially keeping their distance in the interests of letting nature take its course, the group eventually decided to intervene to stop the bird from drowning.

They were ultimately successful in using a pole with a hook to separate the two animals.
"I was able to just latch on to the octopus and give it a little tug," said one of the farmers, John Ilett.

"It released its grip... which gave the eagle just enough time to get to shore. We weren't sure exactly how it was going to go down when I tested the pole."

"Am I at fault because I'm human and I felt compassion for the bird ?"

"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."

Source: Independent | Comments (14)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #5 Posted by Matt221 5 years ago
Tough call to intervene or not 
Comment icon #6 Posted by Dark_Grey 5 years ago
That's one intense metaphor for geopolitics today
Comment icon #7 Posted by Matt221 5 years ago
i had another thought perhaps the eagle and the octopus were just friends with benefits and were just getting it on and the fish farmer blokes broke up something beautiful
Comment icon #8 Posted by jbondo 4 years ago
Why do people feel they are helping when interfering in nature? The octopus may not have eaten in quite some time. I think it's rare that they come up so close to the surface. Maybe because it hadn't been successful in feeding below? Also, how does an eagle get grabbed by an octopus, unless there is something wrong with it? Maybe the eagle wasn't right and the best thing for it was to be dispatched. So many possible factors involved that would indicate to let whatever happens, happen. Funny, when people are in a jam, instead of helping, many just take video instead. Call me cold, or whatever y... [More]
Comment icon #9 Posted by butterflygirl1 4 years ago
Octopuses and squid are the real deal. I once had a spooked octopus latch onto my diving mask at a depth of 20m and it almost ripped the mask from my face. Worryingly this was only a small one......
Comment icon #10 Posted by Kittens Are Jerks 4 years ago
It's not uncommon for eagles to drown after locking their talons into prey that is too heavy for them to fly off with. They are good swimmers and usually can 'tow' their prey to shore, but in this instance, the eagle would never have made it. I usually have issues with people intervening with nature, but in this instance, I'm glad they did. Both animals would have been seriously injured (or worse) in the scuffle.
Comment icon #11 Posted by rashore 4 years ago
That's kind of horrifying. I'm one of those folks that think Kraken lore comes from a time when big ole Octos and Squid weren't so fished out.. and big. And blown up with fishermans tales. Those guys are smart too.
Comment icon #12 Posted by butterflygirl1 4 years ago
It was not the poor thing's fault, another diver had spooked it and it swam in my direction and latched onto the mask likely to anchor itself. I remained calm and gently prised it off and returned it to the sea bed. Obviously had it been bigger or had I panicked my mask could have been pulled off which would have been quite serious. I must admit it was an "oh ****" moment even though I am a reasonably experienced diver (certified AOWD). I 100% agree on the kraken thing, squid can get huuuge and are so poorly known that we may not have seen the truly giant ones.
Comment icon #13 Posted by joc 4 years ago
Picking up animal babies is stupid's not interfering with the natural progression of an  otherwise humanless act. Please...if a bear picks up a baby fawn...and eats that nature?  Yes it is.  Well...if I go in the woods and shoot the mother of the fawn and eat that nature?  Yes...just because we live in a civilized society with Walmarts and Targets, etc...does not mean that we ourselves are not part of nature.  Bears do what bears do.  Deer do what deer do. And humans do what humans do.  We are all part of nature and you just can't really mess it up. Example:  E... [More]
Comment icon #14 Posted by jbondo 4 years ago
Very good point!

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