Woman left in shock after eagle snatched up Chihuahua
LIVING on Ipswich's bushy outskirts means Deb Auld is used to the threat posed by wildlife - particularly snakes.
But even she was shocked when a predator from the skies swooped down on the tiny dog she was babysitting for her daughter.
A majestic sight in mid-flight, the wedge-tailed eagle is also a fearsome predator, as little Bella the Chihuahua found out recently.
Mrs Auld was taking Bella for a quick wee in the paddock at Ripley when a large wedge-tailed eagle approached from behind her and tried to take off with the little Chihuahua.
Fortunately, the big bird lost its grip, but not before causing some serious injuries to the precious family pooch.
"All I saw was wings and feathres flying everywhere," Mrs Auld said.
"The whole thing was over in a few seconds, but the eagle ripped the muscle and skin away from Bella's spine.
"The vet said the injuries were horrific."
Although she's looking a bit worse for wear at the moment, with stiches and drains hanging out of her battered little body, Bella is expected to make a full recovery.
Given the fate that has met countless hares and other animals at the hands of eagles in the past, it would be fair to say she's a lucky dog.
"Neighbours of ours had a dog taken by an eagle years ago, and I saw the Fassifern newspaper recently ran a photo of an eagle flying around with a hare in its talons," Mrs Auld said.
"I would just like people to be aware that the eagles are out there and they do take small dogs.
"I'm not game to let Bella off the leash outside now - she's precious to all of us and a lovely little thing."