Feeds

Sea eagles menace Scottish children

Clergyman attacked, kiddies next on the menu

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

The Scottish Gamekeepers Association (SGA) has had a bit of a Daily Mail moment by claiming reintroduced sea eagles pose a serious threat to children, and that there should be an "exit strategy"* to deal with the menace from birds of prey should they decide to dine on Caledonian kiddies.

The warning comes after a white-tailed sea eagle attack on the Very Rev Hunter Farquharson, when the man of the cloth arrived home at Abernethy, near Perth, to find one of his geese dead on the ground. While attempting to protect a second goose from clawed death, Farquharson suffered a head injury when the "flying barn door" jumped onto his back.

Sea eagles are, the BBC notes, the UK's largest bird of prey, although their 8ft wingspan didn't grace our skies for many years after they were wiped out in the early 20th century. In 1975, they were reintroduced on the island of Rum off Scotland's west coast, and the species has since spread to Mull and Skye, and Wester Ross on the mainland.

These animals haven't caused any problems, and indeed the SGA has no objection to them, but the association is none too happy about the release of examples on the east coast. The Farquharson flying fury furore has prompted the SGA to demand a public enquiry into the programme.

In a letter to Scottish government, it wrote: "These creatures are being released into what is a comparatively densely populated area so they will come into contact with humans on a daily basis. That will instil habituated behaviour and remove what should be a healthy fear of humans.

"There are reports of buzzards which have obviously undergone this desensitization and this has resulted in them attacking people. This could pose a serious threat in the future. Will these very large creatures differentiate between a small child and more natural quarry?"

RSPB Scotland is none too impressed. It responded on Twitter: "Alarmist nonsense from the SGA. Sea eagle could soon be eating small children. Surely ScotGov won't take this seriously."

Regarding the Farquharson attack, an RSPB spokesman recently said: "In our experience sea eagles will only defend themselves and attack humans if they feel cornered and threatened. It is of course unfortunate that the bird scratched Mr Farquharson, but we believe it was simply trying to escape and resist capture." ®

Bootnote

* = Take large amounts of cash from Go Daddy CEO Bob Parsons so he can shoot them. A win-win for the SGA.

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
PORTAL TO ELSEWHERE scried in small galaxy far, far away
Supermassive black hole dominates titchy star formation
Boffins say they've got Lithium batteries the wrong way around
Surprises at the nano-scale mean our ideas about how they charge could be all wrong
Edge Research Lab to tackle chilly LOHAN's final test flight
Our US allies to probe potential Vulture 2 servo freeze
Europe prepares to INVADE comet: Rosetta landing site chosen
No word yet on whether backup site is labelled 'K'
Cracked it - Vulture 2 power podule fires servos for 4 HOURS
Pixhawk avionics juice issue sorted, onwards to Spaceport America
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.