A pair of men in Mudanjiang, Heilongjiang province have learned the hard way that eagles are not to be messed with. At the very least, don’t smuggle an eaglet out of its nest while its watchful, protective mother is nearby.
Here’s the story.
On the morning of August 11, a farmer named Yang Hai endured a sustained eagle attack while out in the field. He and other villagers tried to fight off the eagle, but failing after 20 minutes, got into vehicles and fled toward the police station.
Interestingly, however — a fact that escaped no one’s attention — the eagle only attacked Yang Hai. Hmm. Could the reason possibly be related to an incident from two years ago?
As told by Heilongjiang News, Yang Hai, believing eagle meat can cure sickness, went into the mountain one day in 2010 with his friend, Wu Bin, to try to capture one of these birds of prey. Unsuccessful at nabbing an adult, the men grabbed a baby eagle instead. Later, while roasting the eaglet, its mother screeched at them from above, with hate and vengeance in her heart, and ever since, she has attacked the two every time she sees them.
Yang says that Wu has been attacked three times by that eagle, leaving 22 cuts on his arms, back and head. Want China Times also notes that, “Needing 40 stitches following an earlier attack from the vengeful bird of prey, Wu Yongtian [WCT has the men's names wrong] from the provincial township of Maqiaohe has moved away for fear that the eagle might attack again.”
Heilongjiang News notes that the eagle in question should be a Grade 1 state-protected species, and happens to be very ferocious. In other words, Yang and Wu are on their own.
Eagle mothers are well known for being overprotective of their young. In Alaska, for instance, it was reported that an eagle that built a nest on top of a post office took to indiscriminately attacking post office visitors, “apparently unaware that the U.S. Postal Service uses a stylized eagle as its logo,” Reuters wryly noted.
Yang is quoted at the end of the Heilongjiang News article as saying, “If I may offer this piece of advice from personal experience: one must cherish and value animals, don’t hurt them so rashly.”
If only he had been so wise two years ago.
(H/T RFH, Alicia)