Deer-Hunting Eagle Blamed for Blackout

Continuing our review of 2007’s wildest critter tales, here’s one about an ambitious Alaska raptor that was definitely thinking big when it attempted to lift a whole deer head into the air and return to its nesting area.

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About 10,000 Juneau, Alaska residents lost power briefly in January after a bald eagle with more determination than savvy wrapped its talons around a deer head and subsequently swerved into power transmission lines, causing a small electrical explosion.

Officials from Alaska Light and Power Company reported the bald eagle blamed for the weekend power outage in the state capital was definitely motivated when he decided to fly off with a deer head from a city landfill.

“You have to live in Alaska to have this kind of outage scenario,” Gayle Wood, AEL&P; spokeswoman, told the Juneau Empire newspaper. “The eagle got a little more than it could handle.”

The heavy spoils were apparently too much for the raptor’s carrying capacity and it failed to clear transmission lines as it flew from the landfill toward the Lemon Creek Operation Center, Wood said. When a repair crew arrived, it found the eagle carcass with the deer head close by.

While local authorities say the landfill utilizes a program to discourage eagles, ravens and other birds from feeding there, the strong-willed national symbol apparently could not resist trying to become one badass bird among his peers.

“This would have been a major score,” Wood told the newspaper. “That eagle would have been the king eagle of the Lemon Creek group.”