The Dutch National Police are looking to the animal kingdom in its efforts to contain and control illegal or just bothersome drone flights in the small European nation.
Why use a shotgun when you can have an eagle do the work?
If you’re bothering someone with your drone over a West Virginia trailer park one of the last things you’ll likely see from your tablet as your DJI Phantom’s camera scopes the ground is a man with a Budweiser going inside for his shotgun to solve that problem.
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The Dutch are a bit more subtle and are presently training eagles to take down drones. Whether or not their motivation comes from a viral video from Australia last year where a wild eagle famously took down a drone much to the owner’s chagrin is anyone’s guess.
There is little doubt that drones can be both a nuisance and a danger. Police departments around the world have looked at numerous methods to keep drones at bay. Whether a drone of their own with a net, radio jammers, etc., there are a number of ideas being floated around through law enforcement. But now? Hell, let’s use eagles.
Dutch police teams with raptor training company to take down rouge drones
Guard from Above – a Dutch Raptor training company has begun training the eagles to safely capture a drone in their talons. While the shotgun solution described above will do the trick in rural environments it’s hardly ideal for urban settings. Instead, the eagles, in theory, will use their inherently strong talons to snatch an airborne drone and return it to its point of disembarkation.
“There are situations in which drones are not allowed to fly. This is almost always to do with security,” said Mark Wiebe, innovation manager for the National Police in the Netherlands.
“The bird sees the drone as prey and takes it to a safe area,” said Wiebe.
In this day and age you can’t do this without immediately getting called out by animal welfare groups. While I don’t want to see the eagles getting hurt, I also don’t want them to be left out of fun they instinctively derive from hunting.
And the group responsible for training the eagles maintains that the eagles will be unharmed by the carbon fiber rotors that a drone employs to fly owing to the strength of their talons and the “scales” on the eagle’s legs. That said, the Dutch National Police are taking their safety seriously and looking at potentially armoring the drone snatchers.
Yes, armored drone hunting eagles, legal prostitution and really tall people wearing a lot of orange.