It is going to take a lot more than just being dive bombed by a bald eagle to change Chelsea Cheeba’s mind about the creatures.
“The one person who loves eagles the most is attacked by one, but hey, what can I say? Love hurts,” Cheeba said.
On May 20, Cheeba was walking towards the Campbell River Home Depot when she saw the eagle in question land in a nearby tree. She then did what she always does, grabbed her phone to take a few photos.
“I stopped like I normally do and zoomed in on my camera. I took a few pictures. I walked away, and the eagle just dive bombed me and hit me good in the back of the head,” Cheeba said. “Then I felt the back of my head with my left hand. I looked at my hand and it was covered in blood.”
Cheeba was helped out by a bystander, who got Cheeba into the bystander’s car and took her to a store for first aid supplies. A member of Cheeba’s family then came to take her to the hospital.
“I got checked out and I got a tetanus shot,” she said. “It was scary when it first happened, then afterwards when my mom was taking me to the hospital we just started laughing about it.”
Cheeba thinks that the eagle likely had a nest nearby with some young and was just being protective. However, when she walks to work now she is “always watching.”
“When I walk by an eagle tree heading to work I’m thinking ‘don’t you attack me.’”
Bald eagles can grow to nearly a metre in height and can weigh over six kilograms.
“They don’t look that big when they’re in the sky flying, but when you get real close to them, oh yeah,” Cheeba said. “If the eagle really meant business it could have done more damage, that’s for sure.”
Despite her ordeal, she says her love for the animals hasn’t changed, she would just prefer a bit more distance next time she sees one.
The Mirror has reached out to the MARS Wildlife Rescue Centre for a comment. This story will be updated with their response.