A Tennessee man claims his 4-pound puppy was brutally attacked by what was possibly a red-tailed hawk.
Trent Notestine, of Bellevue, told Fox17 the raptor allegedly attacked his 10-week-old puppy, Miso, earlier this month in his backyard.
“Miso ran across the yard. The hawk saw him run and flew over my head, pinned him to the ground as he grabbed Miso’s head and neck,” Notestine told the news station.
“I’m not really sure what was wrong with the hawk, but it was not scared of me at all,” he added, claiming he managed to grab the bird’s wing in an attempt to force the bird to release the puppy. Eventually, the bird let go.
Miso underwent surgery following the alleged incident, the Tennessee man wrote on Facebook, though he didn’t share further details. He also claimed in the post he “punched” the bird.
“We both had to get tetanus shot and all kinds of stuff,” Notestine told Fox 17. “Poor guy barely survived. He almost bled out.”
A hawk attack in the presence of a human is reportedly unusual, according to the news station.
“Just like a squirrel when you walk outside, they scurry up a tree. That’s the way wildlife should react to humans,” Barry Cross, a wildlife information specialist with the Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency, told Fox17.
The red-tailed hawk is “one of the most widespread and commonly observed hawks in Tennessee,” the state’s wildlife resources agency states online, adding the birds are “commonly seen perched on telephone poles and trees along roadsides.”
Red-tailed hawks typically eat small to medium-sized mammals, as well as some birds and snakes, among others, according to the agency. The raptors have the ability to capture and then carry off prey of their own weight or less — up to roughly 4-pounds, according to Hawks Aloft, a non-profit conservation organization.
Trent Notestine was not immediately available for comment when contacted by Fox News on Thursday.