During the attack, the octopus latched onto the eagle and pulled it into the Quatsino Sound in British Columbia. Nearby salmon farmers said it seemed like the octopus was trying to drown the bird.
“We weren’t sure if we should interfere because it is mother nature, survival of the fittest,” salmon farmer John Ilett told CNN. “But it was heart-wrenching ― to see this octopus was trying to drown this eagle.”
Ilett and his team pulled the pair apart, gave the eagle a chance to swim to safety then set the octopus free.
Octopus expert Jennifer Mather of the University of Lethbridge told the Guardian that instead of hunting for dinner, the eagle almost became a meal.
“If something is on the surface of the water, and the octopus is close to the surface of the water, it’s food,” she said.