Canadian woman films bald eagle's swim after losing fight

By Ben Hooper
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June 5 (UPI) -- A British Columbia woman captured unusual footage of a bald eagle swimming to shore after losing a battle with a still-airborne eagle.

Cheryl Papove, who lives on the waterfront in Belcarra, said she and her husband, Bill, heard a commotion outside about 7:30 a.m. Sunday and looked out to discover a bald eagle swimming in the water while another eagle repeatedly dive-bombed at it.


Papove told the Vancouver Sun the swooping eagle "flipped" the swimming bird "a couple times" before she managed to start filming the scene.

The video catches only a brief glimpse of the attacking eagle as the swimming raptor makes its way to shore and walks along the beach.

Martina Versteeg, raptor care supervisor at O.W.L. Orphaned Wildlife Rehabilitation Center, said bald eagles are uniquely equipped for swimming.

"When they catch a really large fish and they just can't get lift off, it's pretty normal for them to swim to shore or a rock surface to get their bearings, maybe eat it, and go on their way," Versteeg told CTV News.

"They have really good waterproofing," she said. "They're really acclimatized to our coastal climate. They're more of a sea eagle than something like a hawk or a golden."


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