Bald eagle gets trapped in trampoline after mid-air fight gone wrong
CTV Vancouver Island
Published Monday, June 11, 2018 6:15PM PDT
Last Updated Monday, June 11, 2018 6:38PM PDT
A furious mid-air battle didn't end quite as expected for a bald eagle that became trapped in a backyard trampoline in the Comox Valley.
The bird of prey was locked in a life-or-death fight with a rival eagle above a home in Royston on Sunday when it suddenly began to plummet.
The eagle then took a sharp dive right into an enclosed trampoline in Candice Rawson's backyard.
"They were spiralling towards the ground and I guess it looked like the bigger eagle almost forced the smaller one into that trampoline," Rawson told CTV News on Monday.
Dazed and confused, the eagle repeatedly tried to escape the enclosure without success.
"I don't know if it could see the net, but it kept flying into the net," said Rawson. "My dad said the power, you could feel it when it hit the net every time, was amazing, but they were worried. They didn't want the bird to hurt itself."
Eventually Rawson's father opened the net on the trampoline and set the bird free.
While unusual, the encounter is likely the result of a mid-air battle during mating season for bald eagles, according to avian rescuers.
"A couple of months ago we started seeing it up in Comox, and very serious aggression where eagles were actually being killed in the fights," said Reg Westcott, supervisor of animal care at MARS Wildlife Rescue. "Or we'd recover them and they were damaged so badly we had to humanely euthanize. We do see it a lot right through the breeding season."
Rescuers are also reminding the public not to approach or engage bald eagles – especially if they're still locked in a fight.
"If they were in the middle of a fight, I'd be pretty weary without training to approach them," said Westcott. "If you get tangled up into that lock, now they're treating you like an eagle and they're locked down on you and they don't want to let go."
After the eagle was let loose from the enclosed trampoline, it appeared to fly into a wooded area near Rawson's home.