A golden eagle grabs a drone during a military training exercise at Mont de Marsan French Air Force base
A golden eagle grabs a drone during a military training exercise at Mont de Marsan French Air Force base in southwestern France on Feb. 10, 2017.Regis Duvignau—Reuters
A golden eagle grabs a drone during a military training exercise at Mont de Marsan French Air Force base
Leather hoods for golden eagle are pictured as part of a military training for combat against drones in Mont-de-Marsan French Air Force base
Feathers of golden eagle are pictured as part of a military training for combat against drones in Mont-de-Marsan French Air Force base, Southwestern France
FRANCE-ARMY-DEFENCE-ANIMALS
FRANCE-ARMY-DEFENCE-ANIMALS
FRANCE-ARMY-DEFENCE-ANIMALS
A golden eagle is pictured as part of a military training for combat against drones in Mont-de-Marsan French Air Force base, Southwestern France
A golden eagle carries a flying drone away during a military training exercise at Mont-de-Marsan French Air Force base
A golden eagle grabs a drone during a military training exercise at Mont de Marsan French Air Force base in southwestern
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Regis Duvignau—Reuters
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These Drone-Hunting Eagles Aren't Messing Around

Feb 17, 2017

When it comes to defending against pesky drones, the French military has gone to the birds.

These drone-hunting birds of prey are being trained at a French Air Force base in Southwestern France. They're literally born on top of drones, and kept there during early stages of feeding. When they're ready to fly, they're brought to a field to intercept drones. In turn, they're rewarded with meat.

"These eagles can spot the drones several thousand meters (yards) away and neutralize them," Jean-Christophe Zimmerman, a French Air Force general, told Reuters.

The idea is to offer a solution to sneaky smaller drones near military bases, airports and other sensitive sites. (They're not meant to tangle with militarized Predator-style drones.) The eagles are seen as safer than other solutions, like shooting down drones or using nets to capture them.

Other countries, including The Netherlands, are also using eagles to capture drones.

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