Tired of unwanted drones hovering over your home or business? Why not hire an eagle assassin to take it out—with extreme prejudice? Believe it or not, a company in the Netherlands is actually offering the services of eagles and hawks to intercept “hostile” drones.
“For years, the government has been looking for ways to counter the undesirable use of drones,” said Sjoerd Hoogendoorn, CEO of Guard From Above. “Sometimes a low-tech solution for a high-tech problem is more obvious than it seems. This is the case with our specially trained birds of prey. By using these birds’ animal instincts, we can offer an effective solution to a new threat.”
For the past few years, Guard From Above has been training birds of prey to identify and attack drones of varying types. The company works mainly with security agencies, such as the Dutch National Police, and says that using raptors to down drones is a clear alternative to shooting the vehicles down, which can be sometimes unsafe, or using sophisticated jamming technologies to disable the craft, which is untested. Raptors on the other hand, have proven themselves a dominant predator of the skies and have been used for hundreds of years to hunt game by skilled falconers.
“Two of the most impressive characteristics of birds of prey are their speed and their power. They use their strength and speed when they hunt: they are the masters of the air. By using our special training methods, we can teach them to intercept drones,” said COO Ben de Keijzer.
Raptors have been used in some occasions in the US for management of nuisance species, especially in the case of geese near airports. Using them against drones however, is an entirely novel idea and legality of doing so is murky. What do you think?