The BBC has been given access to the airbase where Dutch police are training eagles to take down unauthorised drones. It comes amid concerns that drones are increasingly being used to commit crimes.
Watch the report and answer the questions below.
1. What is the eagle's name?
2. What is the eagle's only interest?
3. What items are criminals smuggling into prisons through drones?
4. What is the eagle's unique selling point?
5. What is the eagle being trained to do these days?
Her name is Hunter. She's been trained to join an elite squad of airborne crime fighters, and this is their mission: to bring down hostile drones. Once again, look closely. Her talons go into the propellers, and it's instantly disabled.
The people who train these birds describe it as a low-tech solution to high-tech problem.
This is nature.
So, you are tapping into the eagles' killer instinct.
Yes. Its instinct is to catch a prey. It's not interested in people, it’s not interested in other animals, it's interested only in catching that drone and also they are able to land the drones safely on the ground and that’s where we want it.
These drones are increasingly being used by criminals. They have been used to smuggle sim cards, mobile phones and drugs into prisons, and there are concerns they could be used by terrorists, too.
The police already use radio intercepts and nets to tackle drones. This bird's unique selling point is its eagle-eyed vision.
What we cannot see, it can see. His vision is five times better than a human. Don’t forget they are born hunters. They miss nothing.
Animal welfare charities have raised some concerns. The police say they are researching ways to protect these talons, and we’ve been assured no birds have been harmed during training. But plenty of drones have been.
And this is the part they are still working on teaching the eagle where to drop the drone.
We are just approaching this baby eagle. What do you have to do in order to recover this drone?
Shot it my face. We always try to keep it safe, because it could be a member of the public looking at what is going on, it can be a dangerous drone, unless someone weird, or it doesn't know, it just flies off. I show some meat, and then he is like I’ve got this drone, I’m protecting it, but it’s not really, and then I’ve got something better and then it will jump to me.
A huge chunk of fleshy meat in exchange.
Yeah we can be proud of him.
London's Scotland Yard is so impressed it’s looking into emulating this innovative use of nature.
Anna Holligan, BBC News, Balkan Bird airbase.
2 Catching the drone
3 Sim cards, mobile phones and drugs
4 Its perfect vision
5 Where to drop the drone