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Last Updated: Thursday, 7 October, 2004, 19:19 GMT 20:19 UK
Mother fights hawk to save puppy
Alfie has made a full recovery after being treated with antibiotics
A mother-of-two has described how she battled to prevent a giant bird of prey carrying off the family's puppy.

Sophie Patterson, 37, of Ely, Cambs, was walking Alfie, a 20-week-old Border Terrier cross, when a Harris Hawk swooped down from a tree.

The bird locked its talons around the dog's body and lifted him from the ground.

Mrs Patterson grabbed hold of the dog and a tug-of-war ensued before Alfie was pulled from the bird's clutches.

"The bird swooped down and picked Alfie up from the ground. I was holding on to his body and so the bird was only a couple of inches away from my face.

Bird 'could strike again'

"The bird was pecking at the dog's head. It definitely could have killed him," she said.

Mrs Patterson said Alfie escaped with only a couple of minor cuts and a small hole in the top of his head.

The attack happened last Thursday evening on a field, close to Davison Road.

Mrs Patterson said the bird was being exercised by its owner when the attack happened and she said she feared the bird could strike again and may even attack a child.

"I want to warn people about it so that it doesn't happen again.

"It wasn't the bird's fault as it was just doing what nature intended but people who keep birds of prey should keep better control of them when they are being exercised," she said.

Mrs Patterson said Alfie had now fully recovered after being treated with antibiotics.

Rescue operation for trapped puppy
06 Feb 04  |  England

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