In an unusual display, a pair of white-bellied sea-eagles employed a previously undocumented predation technique on an island flying fox: throwing the bat repeatedly into the sea.
This was filmed on Tioman Island, Peninsular Malaysia. The catch-and-release strategy was written about in a recent paper .
“Although the catch event was outside of our line of sight, we heard a cacophony of vocalizations (probably from the flying fox colony, and later observed the sea-eagle flying out to sea clutching a struggling flying fox in its talons. Once the sea-eagle was about 100 meters [330 feet] out from the shore, it dropped the flying fox into the sea while another sea-eagle flew in circles a short distance away,” the authors wrote.
The eagles seemed cruel and calculated in their method of torturing the unfortunate bat.
The birds of prey seemed to be “clearly observing the flying fox as it swam”, waiting for it to reach the shore to dash out and snatch the fox back up, and throw it back into the water.