Vancouver Island fish farmers rescue eagle from octopus
VICTORIA -- An island bald eagle was rescued from a watery demise Monday afternoon after workers at Mowi Canada West fish farm rescued the bird from the tentacles of a hungry octopus.
According to a spokesperson from Mowi, crews were working at a farm near Quatsino, located off the northwest tip of Vancouver Island, when they heard the sounds of a crying eagle.
"They were returning from their day's duties and heard quite a bit of commotion behind the house and they went to investigate and they saw an eagle in distress trying to escape this octopus," said the spokesperson.
At first, the workers held off to allow nature to take its course, but eventually decided to take action to save the eagle.
"At first we just watched and we didn't know if we should interfere because, you know, it's Mother Nature," said John Ilett, the man who was holding the pole in the rescue video.
"They could tell the end result would be that the octopus would drown the eagle," said the Mowi spokesperson.
Using a pole, the workers were able to hook the octopus off of the eagle for long enough to allow the bird to swim to shore.
"The octopus swam away and the eagle sort of rested there for 15 minutes before flying off as well," said a spokesperson for Mowi.
"At the end of the day, both animals are alive and we feel pretty good about what we did," said Ilett.
Ilett adds that the octopus was the largest he's ever seen in B.C. waters, and estimates that it measured four to four and a half feet long.
"It was a very cool situation," said Ilett. "I've been out here 20 years and that's one of the coolest things I've ever seen."
This creature encounter isn't the first time that workers at Mowi Canada West saved distressed wildlife. Back in January, staff spotted an injured northern fur seal pup near their operation in Campbell River and rescued it from the waters, where it was swimming irregularly.
The pup, named Mo, was then transferred to the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Mammal Rescue Centre where it has since made a recovery and been released back into the wild.