A wedge-tailed eagle that was part of a birds of prey show at Alice Springs Desert Park flew at a young boy and latched on to his head with its talons instead of flying over to a perch as it had been trained to.
The moment was captured by a visitor to the park, Christine O’Connell, who uploaded an image on to Instagram of the eagle seemingly attempting to drag away the boy, who was wearing a green hoodie.
O’Connell wrote as the caption: “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 youngster, 7, was left bleeding after the huge wedge-tailed eagle tried to drag him away at the park in Australia.
The terrifying incident occurred last week at Alice Springs Desert Park, an educational facility in the Northern Territory.
Christine O’Connell uploaded a dramatic image of the attack to Instagram, saying the eagle had become irritated by the boy’s hoodie.
“He tried to pull him over – I really think with the hood on and making the noise, the bird thought it was some type of prey.”
The wedge-tailed eagle, found in Australia, Papua New Guinea and Indonesia, has a wingspan reaching almost 10ft and is Australia’s largest bird of prey.
“On Wednesday, 6 July, an incident occurred at the Alice Springs Desert Park where an eagle made contact with an audience member,” the spokeswoman said. “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.”
The boy received only superficial injuries and was immediately treated for his wounds by first aid officers, she said.