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Shih Tzu “extremely lucky” after being attacked by huge hawk in a busy city park

Harris's Hawk close up © Pixabay

A woman from Sunderland has appealed to her followers on social media to be vigilant following the attempted airborne abduction of her Shih Tzu cross. 

By Nick Whittle, 31 Oct 2019

Lauren Davis told The Mirror she considered her dog Hudson “extremely lucky” not to have been carried off by a giant hawk.

The hawk allegedly dove for Hudson in the middle of Barnes Park in Sunderland, Tyne and Wear. The dog was being walked by Ms Davis’s husband Craig.

Davis added, “Craig saw a large black thing coming down from the trees when he was out with the dog this morning, but it was too quick to catch what it was.”

Attack from above

Hudson fled as the bird approached.

The dog immediately bolted off,” said Davis. “He was terrified still when he got home and was sat waiting by the back gate when my husband found him.”

A later sweep of social media revealed other sightings of a large bird of prey in the area.

Davis added, “There were lots of dog owners in the park standing around looking up into the trees and many of the dogs were visibly distressed.”

Harris’s Hawk

The Harris’s hawk is a medium-large bird of prey often seen in Britain but native to the Americas. It has a wingspan of between 41 and 46 inches.

This stunning bird of prey is a popular choice of falconers. It is believed its presence in the UK is due to the freeing or escape of captive birds.

The Harris’s hawk is an adept hunter and is known for its voracious appetite for small mammals.

Gizmo from Devon

The mode of the attempted abduction mirrors that of Gizmo, a Chihuahua that disappeared from a garden in Devon in July of this year.

Gizmo’s owner believes a seagull swooped down and took her dog while her attention was elsewhere. Gizmo has still not been found.