Three small dogs in Chelsea, London, have had to be treated by the vets for injuries sustained to them by birds of prey as they walked in the park.
In the most recent attack, a woman described how the huge bird of prey tried to carry her Jack Russell puppy away.
Rebecca Walsh was walking her 4 month old Jack Russell, Fleur, in Millbank Gardens when the hawk decided to attack. At first she thought that the bird was being friendly but then realised that it was a bird of prey.
“The hawk really dug its talons in. There was blood everywhere, in Fleur’s mouth and on her nose,” she said. “We thought the talons dug into her eye and blinded the puppy. We were distraught.”
Fleur was rushed to the vet and sedated so that the cuts could be treated and she has now fully recovered.
The other dogs that were attacked were both miniature dachshunds. Nick Robertson owns the Harris hawk that attacked a dachshund He insisted the birds are not trying to kill the dogs, but are in fact attacking because they are afraid. He said his hawk was so traumatised by the event that is has not been used for pest control since.
The Greater London Authority has been using hawks to help control the infestation of pigeons. They are also used to help keep Wimbledon pigeon free during the tennis season, in June.
Pest control experts insist the attacks were nothing more than ‘freak accidents’.
These incidents almost make the dogs/birds/cats relationship a rock/paper/scissors scenario: dogs chase cats, cats chase birds and birds chase dogs.