Warning that escaped 7ft bald eagle could snatch a toddler

A seven-foot bald eagle that escaped from an English bird sanctuary earlier this week is capable of snatching and killing a toddler, experts have warned.

A 7-foot bald eagle name Helga haas escaped captivity and could snatch a toddler or pet

A 7-foot bald eagle name Helga haas escaped captivity and could snatch a toddler or pet Image by Pop H / CC BY 2.0

The huge bird possesses three-inch-long razor-sharp talons could also swoop down to lift pets or small animals from the ground.

The eagle, called Helga, made her dash for freedom after a demonstration at the Raptor Centre in Groombridge in Kent. Locals have been put on alert with a warning that the bald eagle is capable of dive-bombing at almost 100-miles-per-hour to snatch potential prey on the ground.

This species of eagles have been known to kill animals as big as beavers, raccoons, and even lambs with their sharp talons.

The birds are something of a rarity in the UK and Helga had only known life in captivity so officials at the Centre are unsure of her reaction to freedom.

After flying away following her display on Tuesday afternoon she was  spotted at Ashdown Forest in East Sussex early the following morning. Specialist Ben Andrew of RSPB said that birds brought up in captivity could suffer something of a shock in the wild.

Since her escape, her owners Freddie and Veronica Hare have mounted several searches in the hoping of discovering where she is hiding out.

Veronica said it was a worrying time as Helga had never done anything like this in her 17 years with the family. She said that she might go missing for an hour or so by lurking around the countryside, but she would always come back.

She has urged anyone who may come across the bird to contact either the Centre or her family and warned that they should not try to approach or feed her.

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