Chad Rissman and his Uncle, Darrin Vick, had been waiting for a bite all day at Dunedin Causeway. Suddenly, the line tightened. As they excitedly reeled in their catch, a bald eagle flew in and claimed the shark as its own. Both men grabbed their phones to record the once-in-a-lifetime moment.  

Fortunately, they were able to cut the line and remove the hook from the eagle’s vicinity. If you encounter a situation with a bird that’s hooked, don’t immediately cut the line.  If you do, the bird could end up seriously injured. If the eagle in this incredible story flew away with 15 to 20 feet of fishing line hanging from her beak, she could’ve ended up accidentally hanging herself. Instead, reel, remove, and release.

If you don’t feel comfortable removing the hook yourself, contact the Raptor Center of Tampa Bay.

If you encounter an injured or tangled bird, call Raptor Center of Tampa Bay at 813-205-1851.