This is the most bizarre wrestling match you will ever see! It was captured by some incredulous Canadian fishermen in British Colombia, northwest of Vancouver Island. The footage starts with what looks like a tangle of tentacles, feathers, and a beak and it takes a while for your eyes to work out what is happening. But soon it becomes clear that we are witnessing a truly amazing and extraordinarily weird event!
Eagles and octopi are not two creatures that you would normally expect to find interacting — or even in the same environment. So, what could have happened here?
The giant Pacific octopus is the largest species of octopus on the planet. They can grow up to a massive 30 feet in length so this eagle got off quite lightly when it took on a slightly small version. They are mainly found in the depths of the oceans and are nocturnal yet this one managed to get into a tussle with an eagle on the water’s surface in the middle of the day.
They usually eat shrimp, clams, lobsters, and fish but have been known to attack sharks and birds in the past although this has rarely (if ever) been caught on film.
These octopi are often spotted in the waters off British Columbia but are also found in Alaska, Japan, and Russia and they are not under threat in terms of numbers. They also have beaks and can deliver a sharp bite which may be why the eagle in this footage is looking pretty panic-stricken about the pickle it has found itself in.
Bald eagles do like to fish! They are elegant and majestic birds who like to live near bodies of water so they are often found in coastal regions. These birds have a diet that consists mostly of fish which they catch by swooping down at speed and grasping the fish with their sharp talons. For whatever reason, on this day there was an octopus near the surface that caught the attention of this bald eagle which thought that it was going to get a tasty meal. Instead, the octopus must have fought back and wrapped its tentacles around the bird’s body and dragged it into the water. When the anglers spotted this strange embrace, it looked as if it has been going on for some time. The fishermen intervened with a long pole and managed to break up the fight. Once the eagle was free and at a safe distance, the octopus was released.
We can only speculate about what would have happened if there had been no human intervention. It is possible that the bird would have been dragged under the surface and killed. It looks as if neither animal sustained any lasting damage. Although, from the look of the bedraggled eagle hunched on a tree branch after the encounter, a lesson had been learned!
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