Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

Officer Saves Baby Kangaroo from Eagle

Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

Officer Saves Baby Kangaroo from Eagle

Article excerpt

The wedge-tailed eagle, with a stealthy approach that belied its 7-foot wingspan, attacked without warning. Before the predator struck, it had been a peaceful afternoon in Burringurrah, a small community in remote northwestern Australia. Under the watchful eye of police officer Scott Mason, a young kangaroo named Cuejoe hopped around beneath the gum tree that grows in the Burringurrah police station courtyard.

Constable Mason has been the little roo's ward since March, to the delight of those who appreciate men in uniform and cute critters (Buzzfeed: "This Hot Cop Adopted A Baby Kangaroo And It Lives In His Shirt). Rescuers found Cuejoe in his mother's pouch, after a car fatally struck the adult kangaroo. Mason, who helped nurse Cuejoe back to health, has regularly appeared with the kangaroo in the Australian police's social media feeds.

So it was something akin to a fatherly instinct that kicked in as Mason watched a large bird descend upon Cuejoe. The eagle was "massive, he said. It lifted Cuejoe in its talons, hoisted the roo over a six-and-a-half-foot fence and headed toward the bushland. "I took a second to react, Mason told The Washington Post in a phone interview early Tuesday. "I was pretty shocked. Once the shock wore off, Mason began running.

You'd be forgiven if baby kangaroo-snatching runs counter to our impressions of eagles and their noble countenances. Dating back to ancient Roman heraldry, humans have used the birds as symbols of courage and honor. But wild eagles, like all other carnivores, need to eat. And because the large birds are so powerful and move so quickly - some species reach speeds of 30 miles an hour in the moments before they strike - eagles can tackle surprisingly heavy prey.

In Russia, biologists have seen golden eagles take down deer. In the United States, bald eagles typically stick to fish - but an eagle munching on a cat isn't totally absurd. …

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