Now, it seems the story – in which Dutch company, Guard From Above announced a program training eagles to identify and attack UAVs – has taken a decidedly royal turn.
The Daily Mail reports Spain’s Royal Family plans to unleash its own drone-loathing raptors to patrol Zarzuela Palace, the official royal residence. The decree stems from an incident last year in which guards spotted several UAVs over the palace.
Spanish bird trainer Jesus Gomez became inspired after seeing the feathers fly high in the media when Guard From Above’s video went viral. He is now training eagles to protect the dignity and privacy of the royal family.
“Eagles which have been raised by hand in captivity are fundamental to maintaining a balance in our environment,” Gomez told Spanish news source El Mundo.
“With the help of a couple of accredited drone pilots I started the training,” he added. “Within about two months the birds knew how to capture the drone and put it on the ground.”
Interest in anti-drone birds of prey has gained traction across Europe and in the U.S.
In February, Scotland Yard Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe said his department may consider the using eagles – especially those found flying near restricted areas.
Recording artist Kanye West announced last month that he will be hiring birds to patrol his house and dive bomb paparazzi-piloted drones.
However, animal-welfare experts say using raptors to hunt down drones is a bird-brained idea. “What’s surprising is that people think using live eagles to hunt drones is a good idea. It’s not. It’s not a good idea at all,” said National Geographic writer Nicholas Lund. Lund, who works with avian-welfare groups DC Audubon Society, Lights Out DC, and Delta Wind Birds, warned that drone blades, especially carbon fiber ones, can seriously hurt a raptor.
Jason is a longstanding contributor to DroneLife with an avid interest in all things tech. He focuses on anti-drone technologies and the public safety sector; police, fire, and search and rescue.
Beginning his career as a journalist in 1996, Jason has since written and edited thousands of engaging news articles, blog posts, press releases and online content.
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