Picture Showing Eagle Catches a Drone in Mid-Air: Fact Check


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Picture Showing Eagle Catches a Drone in Mid-Air
Picture Showing Eagle Catches a Drone in Mid-Air

Story:

The Picture of the Century: Eagle Catching a Drone!
Nature defeats Technology

Fact Check:

An interesting picture in wide circulation online purports to show how an Eagle Catches a Drone in mid-air Sky. Social media users shared it widely as the picture of the century where Nature defeats Technology. However, many viewers wondered whether the picture is real, graphics or just a photoshop creation. The picture showing Eagle Catches a Drone is real but comes from a slightly different context than what is described as a natural incident.

About the Picture Showing Eagle Catches a Drone

What you see in the picture is in fact a trained Eagle during a Police exercise in Katwijk, Netherlands back on 7th March 2016. The Bald Eagle, belonging to a Denmark-based raptor-training security firm Guard from Above, takes down a drone. The same picture appears on Getty Images website gettyimages.in. The trained birds of prey catch the flying drones with legs and bring them down to ground. The drones are presented to the birds as a potential meal; they are rewarded with a piece of meat after each successful foray.

Eagle of Guard from Above Company Catches a Drone in Mid-Air
Eagle of Guard from Above Company Catches a Drone in Mid-Air
PC: Koen van Weel

The innovative idea of training Eagles to catch flying Drones came up in response to growing concerns about “hostile drones”. The Dutch Police were planning to use the trained Eagles to remove unlicensed drones and others that pose a public safety threat. A Netherlands’ National Police official described it as a ‘low-tech solution to a high-tech problem‘. The video below shows a news report on the Dutch Police Department’s innovative concept. After the Dutch trials, even London looked into the prospects of using Eagles to take down “hostile drones”.

Criticism

On the other hand, the idea of using Eagles to intercept the unmanned aircrafts (Drones) garnered some criticism. Animal lovers and related organization officials expressed some concerns. They say Eagles are big and powerful birds, which should not be flown in built-up areas. They also expressed concern about the animals’ welfare, the safety of the bird. The flying drones usually have four rotating blades, which can cause harm to the Eagles, they say. The company officials, however, say the Eagles have the natural skill to catch drone-like preys without harming themselves.

Picture Showing Eagle Catches a Drone in Mid-Air

Hoax or Fact:

Fact with some missing information.

References:

Eagle-eyed: Dutch police train birds to take down drones
Dutch police train eagles to snatch enemy drones


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Prashanth Damarla
Debunker

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