Drones are really fun to fly around, but did you know you can’t fly them just anywhere? Some people don’t obey the rules about where they can fly them, and it’s a big problem. For example, some pilots made videos of wildfires in their area with their drones, and they got in the way of firemen and rescue workers trying to contain the blaze and save people's lives. In another case, a criminal flew a drone into a prison to smuggle in illegal drugs, and started a fight! Definitely the wrong use for a cool thing like a drone.
Some police departments are trying different ideas to control drones. One idea is to shoot nets out of a cannon and take down a drone in mid-air, or to jam radio signals so it loses controls and falls to the ground. Both those ideas have a problem: falling drones could land on people and injure them, especially capturing a drone in a city. In Holland, Dutch police have a different, safer idea: train eagles to take down illegal drones! Eagles are great for the job because they already hunt flying birds, and they’re very fast fliers, very skilled hunters, and have very good eyesight to track a drone from over a mile away.
But how do you train an eagle to do it? Some unlucky drone owners have found out that eagles don't need any training at all to attack drones. If you fly one too close to an eagle's nest in the wild, the eagle thinks you're attacking it, and will grab your drone out of the air and take it away. Eagle trainers are reinforcing this protective instinct from birth by placing food on drones for the eagles. When the eagle sees and smells the food, it thinks the drone is prey, and hunts it down, carrying it to the ground to eat it (instead of dropping a drone on someone's head).
So if you’ve got a drone, make sure you’re flying it where you’re allowed to, or else it might become a snack!
(This video is in Dutch. I don't speak Dutch either, but I sure like to listen to it!)
Thanks to Dogo News for the story, Lolchew for the pics, and Politie for the video.