Animals & pets

Here’s why eagles are now part of the Air Force in France

In France the Air Force has a new weapon. But it’s actually an ancient one: eagles.

A demonstration at an Air Force base last week showed off the skills of the first batch of eagles specially raised and trained to take down drone aircraft.

France 24 reports the four eagles have been around drones since before they even hatched (their eggs were placed on drones). As they grew, the falconers who trained them got them to associate drones with food.

Now the birds are full-grown and are adept at taking down the kind of small drones that are sold commercially.

Reuters explains that security in France has been heightened since the 2015 attacks on Paris. The eagles can take down drones that are carrying explosives, illegally filming, or are just in an area that’s off-limits.

They have a slideshow with close-up images of the golden eagles, whose names come from the Alexandre Dumas classic The Three Musketeers.

France 24 says the pilot program (our pun, not theirs) is going so well the fleet will be expanded with another four eagles this summer.

 This story is part of our Best of the Web section – which is just cool stuff we find online and want to share with you.

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