Hunter kills golden eagle in struggle for dog

A Swedish hunter saved the life of his dog by killing a golden eagle that attacked it in Lapland, northern Sweden, reports said on Thursday.

Stefan Stalnacke was out hunting for capercaillies (a large, turkey-like grouse) in the forests near his home in Vittangi, 150km above the Arctic Circle, when the eagle suddenly swooped down on to his dog.

Stalnacke reacted quickly and ran after the animals that were about 70m away. He jumped on to the two animals and wrestled with the large bird, preventing it from flying away with the dog clutched in its claws.

“The eagle ended up on its back in the snow and I laid on top of it to suffocate it, while it still had its claws in the dog. It took three, four minutes before it died and I could free the dog,” Stalnacke told the Norrlandska Socialdemokraten newspaper.

Although golden eagles are a protected species, Stalnacke is unlikely to face charges since his actions aimed at saving his dog, police said.

Filmmaker and former game warden Hakan Lundstrom believes the eagle was famished, but added the eagle could have mistaken Stalnacke’s dog for a fox — an animal eagles have been known to hunt. — Sapa-DPA

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