Dutch police use real eagles to counter drones

February 3, 2016
Like elsewhere around the globe the use of drones in the Netherlands is booming
Like elsewhere around the globe the use of drones in the Netherlands is booming

Dutch police are turning to a phalanx of winged predators to solve the problem of unauthorised drone flights in restricted areas such as airports and over crowds: eagles.

Police officers, who are looking for the best way to intercept unauthorised drones, are conducting tests with the birds of prey together with a specialised Dutch company called Guard from Above, a police spokesman said on Wednesday.

"It's a low-tech solution to a high-tech problem," Dennis Janus said.

"We use the birds' age-old hunting instinct to intercept and neutralise drones," he told AFP.

Police released video footage of the tests, which shows an eagle in flight firmly grasping the drone with its talons before landing a few metres (yards) away.

The eagles are trained by Guard from Above, which describes itself as the "first company in the world that uses birds of prey to intercept drones."

Like elsewhere around the globe the use of drones in the Netherlands is booming.

"For obvious security reasons, you can't fly a drone just anywhere," said Janus, adding that it is forbidden to fly drones in airports or over large crowds.

"If a drone falls on somebody it could kill," Janus added.

Dutch police are using eagles to deal with unauthorised drone flights in restricted areas such as airports and over crowds
Dutch police are using eagles to deal with unauthorised drone flights in restricted areas such as airports and over crowds

Police are also testing a method to "hack" a drone's controls or to catch it in a net carried by another drone.

The test using birds of prey is expected to be finalised by the end of the year, and will examine the raptors' reaction to crowds.

An eagle brings down a drone for Dutch police
An eagle brings down a drone for Dutch police

Explore further: Researchers conduct study to determine impact of using drones to study birds

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