Sea eagle seizes lamb and carries it off in Scotland | UK News

Astonishing pictures have emerged featuring the unlikely sight of a lamb being carried through the air by a sea eagle.

In photos snapped by Douglas Currie, from Loanhead, Midlothian, the farm animal is seen being dangled precariously above the ground as the bird grips it with its talons.

Mr Currie, 74, an amateur photographer, captured the moment while on holiday with his wife on the Isle Of Mull, off the west coast of Scotland.

“We saw this big shape through the sky and my wife thought it was a fish,” he said.

“We then realised it was a lamb – and I rattled off a load of shots. The bird was struggling. It is the most extraordinary sight have had so far.”

Sea eagles have wing spans of up to eight feet. File pic
Image:
Sea eagles have wing spans of up to eight feet. File pic

The sea eagle is an impressive specimen, boasting a wingspan of up to eight feet and a beak capable of doing serious damage to its prey.

Following their decline during the Industrial Revolution, the birds were reintroduced in Scotland in the 1970s and their population has grown ever since, with 130 breeding pairs set to soar to 700 by 2040.

Their increased numbers have riled farmers who are concerned by the targeting of livestock, with lambs having been reported missing and bloodied corpses found miles away from flocks.

Phil Stocker, chief executive of the National Sheep Association, said the pictures from the Isle Of Mull were proof that recently approved plans to home 30 breeding pars on the Isle Of Wight were unsuitable.

He said: “It’s all about eco-tourism – attracting more people to the island. But what happens if it all goes wrong? You’ll have these giant predators all over the south of England and it’ll be too late to do anything about it.

“This is a highly urbanised setting – they simply shouldn’t be here. I would think there is also a danger to people’s pets – cats and dogs and so on. It really is ridiculous.”

The application to breed the birds on the Isle Of Wight was approved by Natural England, which said it will be closely monitored using satellite tracking devices.

Breeding is also not expected to start until at least 2024.

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