Two scrappy eagles are free to resume their apparent long-running dispute after quick-thinking deputies helped separate the brawling pair that had become entangled with each other in a Minnesota lake.

Cass County deputies John Murray and Todd Wolter were on Leech Lake Monday when they found two adult eagles struggling in the water, ensnarled by both their wings and talons.

“We were just patrolling the lake and saw them flopping in the water,” Wolter said. The deputies used a pole to disconnect the massive, angry birds. Eventually, they separated and made their way to shore.

Two eagles

Two eagles are free after deputies in Cass County, Minnesota, found them entangled in a lake on July 3, 2023. (Cass County Sheriff’s Office via AP)

Sheriff Bryan Welk said people who live along the lake had reported seeing the same two eagles fighting in the air over a nest several times. Welk said it’s common for eagles to get territorial, but far less common for them to get stuck together.

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