Powerful hunters and majestic flyers, eagles are being tried by the Dutch National Police at intercepting and removing dangerous drones from the skies.
According to a report by Engadget, a collaborative operation between Guard from Above, a raptor training company, and the Dutch National Police, is exploring using eagles to snatch drones from the air, replacing anti-drone drones, when another capture device might endanger people below.
The report says that Dutch police have taught an eagle to recognize a DJI drone.
The eagle sees the drone, then flies after its ‘mechanical prey’, grabs it with its powerful talons, and removes it from the air, landing it in a safe place, according to the report.
“The eagle is one of the two “physical” methods the force are trialling — the other being a safety net — but a trained bird of prey gives officers more control over where the offending drone is brought down to earth,” the report explained.
Eagles appear to be effective drone hunters due to their toe anatomy and gripping strength, powerful enough to grip and carry heavy objects, the report said.
In spite of their strength, there is a concern that rotors on the drones could cause injury to the birds.
The force will be looking into better ways to protect the birds while they continue to conduct trials over the next few months, a spokesperson said.
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