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Intense Standoff Between a Squirrel and a Bald Eagle Went Viral Because Things Just Kept Escalating

2 minute read

A man in Lincoln, ME stumbled upon a truly tense standoff in the back of a Rite-Aid between a squirrel and a bald eagle.

Roger Stevens Jr. captured a series images of the two animals from the top of a tree. His original post, which been shared more than 11,000 times on Facebook as of Friday, shows the squirrel and the eagle in what appears to be a very high-stakes staring contest. Stevens wrote ” I couldn’t have made this up!! Gray Squirrel and Bald Eagle in staring match… Behind the Rite-Aide Store in Downtown Lincoln, Maine!!”

In subsequent posts, Stevens shared more images showing the eagle attempting to catch the squirrel, which evaded capture by hiding in the hollow of the tree.

Comments on Facebook varied widely. Some took sides, rooting for either the squirrel or the eagle.

One commenter, clearly in the eagle’s corner, wrote, “Kill the tree rat!”

Another admired the rodent, saying, “I love how powerful the squirrel makes himself/herself to be. The eagle is always majestic and powerful looking. But, man, the squirrel matches him in this moment.”

In the end, the squirrel managed to survive. Stevens described the rest of the encounter in an interview with the Bangor Daily News.

“[The squirrel] went right up the tree three or four times and got in his face.” Stevens said, “[The eagle] said, ‘Leave me alone,’ and he flew away,” Stevens said. “And he flew off over the lake.”


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Write to Wilder Davies at wilder.davies@time.com