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Squirt, the survivor

Jodie Pugh with her dog  Squirt, who survived a wedge-tailed eagles attack.
Jodie Pugh with her dog Squirt, who survived a wedge-tailed eagles attack.

By Zoe Sinclair

It was just another day for Squirt, a Silky terrier, but as she did her doggy rounds two wedge-tailed eagles had their eye on her.

They circled above, preparing to attack the Junction Hill dog.

Squirt must have looked like any other rabbit. But as Squirt's neighbour, Sandra Ellem, tells it, the eagles took on more than they bargained for.

"It was a bit after lunchtime and I was in the kitchen. I saw Squirt out in the paddock about 10 minutes before. "She was just running around and sniffing around like she does everyday. I didn't see any birds then, but then I heard this terrible noise," said Mrs Ellem.

"I could see this big wedge-tailed eagle and this thing underneath her and it was Squirt. "There was another one circling above. She was wriggling and squealing like a pig.

"She made a lot more noise than any rabbit. She wasn't going to give up without a fight. "I'd say she tried to bite the eagle. I ran out with my little four-year-old and clapped our hands but I don't think they were too worried about us, it was more Squirt."

"I don't think they were too worried about us, it was more Squirt. Squirt got away and tore off into the house," said Mrs Ellem.

Jodie Pugh, Squirt's owner, came home five minutes later to a trembling, bloody, dog.

"She was petrified. She was in shock. She had big gashes in her back and belly from the claws and she was bleeding a lot," said Mrs Pugh.

National Parks and Wildlife Officer Lawrence Orel said it was unusual to hear of eagles attacking dogs in suburbia.

"It could well be that the behaviour of the dog after the eagle grasped it was enough for the eagle to realise it wasn't its usual prey ? a rabbit," said Mr Orel.

Veterinarians said Squirt was lucky not to have a punctured lung.

The Pughs rescued Squirt from the pound and has always been a fighter. The four-year-old terrier, rules the roost on her block.

"She's very brave ? she likes to bash up German Shepherds, the one up the road is a bit of a coward, but I think the eagles were a bit much, she was really scared ... she didn't leave my side all night after it happened. I think she'll be staying out of the paddock for a while," she said.



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