Vancouver, Canada (CNN)(12/13/19)— A group of salmon farmers, working in Vancouver, Canada, came across an octopus that had a bald eagle in a death grip, trying to drown the bird.
According to salmon farmer John Ilet, the group was returning to their float house when they heard screeching and splashing noises and went to investigate.
Upon finding the source of the sounds, they discovered a full size bald eagle, captured by an octopus about 4.5 feet long, trying to drag the eagle down into the water.
The group watched the spectacle for a few minutes, unsure whether they should intervene. Mother nature is survival of the fittest, after all.
Ilet, having compassion for the bird, sprung into action, rigging up a long pole with a hook on it, while another crew member guided the small boat, and another began filming the ordeal on his phone.
After hooking the octopus and giving it a couple of quick tugs, it released its grip on the eagle, which is all the bird needed to make a quick break to shore.
According to Ilet, he’s been doing this for 20 years and seen some incredible things, but this is the coolest experience so far.
After posting the experience on social media, many comments say the group should not have intervened, to which Ilet responds that it’s much different in the moment, watching the situation unfold before your own eyes.
“Am I at fault because I’m human and I felt compassion for the bird? At the end of the day, both animals are alive and well and they went their separate ways, and we feel pretty good about what we did.”John Ilet, Salmon Farmer
To watch the full video of the rescue, click here.
The United States removed bald eagles from its list of endangered and threatened species in 2007, but they are still protected under the Bald and Gold Eagle Protection Act, the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA), and the Lacey Act.
Under the MBTA, anyone harming a bald eagle could face up to two years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
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