Dutch police look to eagles to snatch dangerous drones

NETHERLANDS (REUTERS) - The Dutch police, puzzling over how to remove drones that pose a public safety threat, are testing a new way to get the job done in one fell swoop: With trained eagles.

It's a low-tech solution to a high-tech problem, says the banner advertising start-up company Guard from Above, whose founder and CEO Sjoerd Hoogendoorn came up with the idea to train and use eagles to intercept unlicensed drones flying into sensitive air space or above a public event such as a politician's appearance.

The birds are trained to see drones as pray and are rewarded with a piece of meat after each successful foray. Mr Hoogendoorn said the eagles' scaly talons are strong and tough enough to seize most consumer-grade drones without injury from the blades.

The entrepreneur added the potential impact on the animals' welfare is the subject of testing by an external scientific research institute. He said his company is working closely with the Dutch police on the project.

Other options under study by the Dutch police include shooting nets at the offending drones, remotely hacking them to seize their controls. A decision by the police on whether to use the eagles is expected by the end of the year.