Hawk Attacks 2-Year-Old Boy in Playground in Scene Out of Horror Movie

OMG 16

It's bad enough when we hear about dogs -- sometimes pit bulls, sometimes other breeds -- attacking children. But this is crazy! Reportedly 2-year-old Alfie Hall was playing with his mother and some other relatives in a playground in the U.K. when a hawk swooped down and attacked the toddler's face, leaving him bloody and almost gouging out his eye and ripping off part of his ear. But this wasn't some scene from The Birds, wherein wild animals go insane. No, this was actually a neighborhood teen's pet bird. Apparently there are no local laws banning the keeping of wild birds as pets -- though there's a ban on pit bulls. Go figure!

Little Alfie was in a designated play area for children in the building where he lives when a nearby teen, who kept the hawk as a pet, allowed his hawk to fly around the playground. Locals said they'd previously seen the teen with his hawk on his arm. Apparently there is some trend of people keeping hawks as "status pets," like pit bulls used to be ... I guess before they banned pit bulls!

The hawk reportedly flew to a nearby tree and ignored his owner's calls to return to him. And then he suddenly swooped down and latched his talons onto Alfie's face. Hawks can apparently fly up to 200 mph.

The boy's mother, Elysia Hall, 23, says that when the hawk attacked her son, her brother ran over, screaming, trying to scare the bird away. The boy was rushed to the hospital.

The teen bird owner was arrested but later released. No word on whether he was allowed to keep his pet. Hopefully not. You have to wonder about this teen's parents. Why on earth are they letting him keep a hawk as a pet?! And inside an apartment building?!

The hawk didn't do anything wrong. It's being a hawk. It probably thought the kid was dinner. Wild animals might seem like they're tamed, but you just never know when they're going to revert to instinct. Keeping a hawk -- or any other wild creature, especially one that can do major damage to a human -- is incredibly stupid and irresponsible. But you can only imagine that the teen thought he had it all under control. People who keep exotic pets -- whether it's a hawk, a chimp, or a tiger -- are trying to "control" something they can't control. I think they do it when they feel that they are not in control of their lives. Unfortunately, it's the animal and other people who suffer.

Luckily it looks like the hawk missed Alfie's eye and his ear was sewn back on. I hope the poor tyke doesn't have physical scars -- though he's bound to have a few emotional ones.

Do you know anyone who keeps a wild animal for a pet?


Image via bagsgroove/Flickr

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Saerise Saerise

I don't have a problem with people keeping them as pets, as long as they're doing so responsibly and with safety in mind. Falconry is kind of cool, but the people I know who keep birds of prey are very careful, and don't let very many people around their animals. 

Trina... Trina.mhmm

I think a hawk is really cool and acceptable for someone who has experience with these birds or takes a few classes training with the bird. It sounds like a tragic mistake. I dont blame the kids or the parents and hope the bird isnt put down. Even my little parakeet nipped me a few times. Im sure if she was as big as a hawk who knows what damage she could have done! Even cats attack people. Dont compare pitbulls to hawks either. Thats stupid they are completely different animals

nonmember avatar zizzler

Sounds like a freak accident to me. As long as the teen and his parents are held accountable, there's no need for a ban on owning birds. Where I grew up, eagles and hawks swoop down and snatch cats and small dogs left and right. I heard about a wild owl randomly attacking my friend (a grown man), but never any kids. I wonder if the boy was wearing a bell, an animal print t shirt, or something else that triggered the bird to attack? Maybe it was underfed?? Idk, birds aren't "hostile" by nature towards random humans.

jjessers jjessers

Why the need to say , sometimes pitbulls. That has nothing to do with this story !

Punks... Punkslilncs

I love how the writer attacks falconry with no knowledge on the subject, then some how links pitbulls into the mix. I guess the moral is you must be a responsible pet owner? Where exactly do they get these writers? 

MumaSue MumaSue

I see nothing wrong with falconry as long as it's done responsibly. As I see nothing wrong with keeping pit bulls as long as it's done responsibly.

Juniper Russo

You kind of missed the point. The issue isn't that people are keeping a "wild" animal. People have kept tame hawks and falcons in for nearly as long as we've kept cats and dogs. The problem was a freak accident caused by a teen mis-handling the animal and having it in an inappropriate environment (a playground).

You propose a ban on "exotic birds," but are you completely overlooking the fact that hundreds of thousands of people own parrots-- which are no more domesticated than raptors can and do occasionally attack people? Are you proposing that we ban the ownership of all birds besides canaries (the only completely domesticated pet bird)? This little tirade seems very short-sighted and ill-considered to me. Support responsible pet ownership and penalize irresponsible owners (as happened in this case-- the owner was arrested). Be proactive, not antagonistic.

For the record, the Migratory Bird Act makes it illegal for people living in the U.S. to own almost any bird  native to North America-- including the Harris's hawk, which was responsible for this attack in the U.K.-- and raptors aren't common pets anywhere in the world. The idea that they're some kind of popular fashion-pet is silly and factually incorrect.

imult... imultracool

I agree with jjessers, why mention pit bulls? Why not just say dogs attacks?

ghost... ghostbaby

For every idiot saying this was a freak accident, wake the hell up. It was not an accident. Its a wild animal, it acted off instinct. Nothing freaky or wild about acting how it should. Whats freaky and wild, is people keeping wild animals as pets. Why the hell would responsible parents get a damn falcon as a pet? Was a dog not good enough? Teenagers are idiots, the last thing they need is a wild animal as a pet.

Marie Ellinwood

You don't need to hear a tragic story to know that it should not be allowed for any person to ever to keep a wild animal locked up as "pets" they are meant to be free. And should only be kept by responsible groups who are working to educate people and preserve their lives. People have no respect for our earth or it's animals and than they have children and teach them to have no respect for anything but themselves and their own selfish wants. And we wonder what's wrong with the world today......

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