France Turns to Eagles for Counterterrorism Measures

Posted: Feb 22, 2017 10:10 AM

Eagles thrive digging their talons into their prey to complete the kill, so why not employ them to kill inanimate objects, such as those ever-looming drones? It turns out, that is just what the French are doing, heading back to the old days of falconry. However, this specific air force base that is training the eagles is one of five bases in France that employs the birds of prey--granted, the other bases utilize the birds to scare away other fowl when aircrafts land and take off. 

Thus, in response to tragic terrorist attacks and the growing popularity of drones in the terrorism arena, the French military has started a program of training golden eagles from birth to take down suspicious drones, instead of to intimidate living things, according to the Washington Post.The Post explained that the French turned to eagles when presented with the question of destroying drones in highly populated areas--as shooting them down becomes risky in such areas. 

February happens to be the month that the four eagles (d'Artagnan, Athos, Porthos and Aramis) piloting the program were ready to be let out to officially test what they had been practicing since birth. 

The Post reported on the progress of one of the drone-destroying-eagles, d'Artagnan, explaining how, "the bird covered 200 meters in 20 seconds, slamming into a drone, then diving with the wreckage into the tall grass."

The military is even designing personalized mittens to protect the birds' extremities from potential blasts.