Things took a turn for the wild at Alice Springs Desert Park in Australia when a huge eagle that was part of a bird show tried to snatch up a young boy by the hood of his sweatshirt. NT News in Australia reports that what was supposed to be a fun and entertaining time at the Eagle Encounter show became a bit too close of an encounter for comfort for the young kid.
According to NT News, the boy sustained a gash to the face, but was otherwise uninjured after the wedge-tail eagle tried to carry him off. Another person who was in attendance at the eagle show was able to snap a photo of the moment the eagle got ahold of the boy's hood:
According the photo's caption, the boy was fiddling a lot with the zipper on his hoodie, which may have attracted the attention of the eagle.
Wedge-tail eagles are impressively sized birds: fully grown they have a wingspan of about nine feet and can lift things as heavy as 10 pounds in their claws. Clearly the boy weighed too much (NT News says witnesses to the attempted grab guessed the boy was around 6-years-old) for the eagle to carry him away, but it appears from the photos that the bird made a sincere effort.
The incident occurred on Wednesday, but the Park did not release a statement until Monday. The Guardian reports that the park confirmed the incident, saying the eagle in question would not be in the show while they investigate what happened:
On Wednesday, 6 July, an incident occurred at the Alice Springs Desert Park where an eagle made contact with an audience member. 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.
Alice Springs Desert Park did not immediately reply to Complex's request for comment.