Dutch police train birds to prey on drones
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Dutch police train birds to prey on drones

Birds intended to be used above large events or near airports, where the small flying machines are banned

THE HAGUE, Netherlands — It may sound like a flight of fancy, but Dutch police are considering using birds of prey to swoop down and pluck rogue drones out of the sky.

Police are working with a Hague-based company that trains eagles and other birds to catch drones, checking whether the birds can be used above large events or near airports, where the small flying machines are banned.

Dennis Janus of the national police said Tuesday that trainers exploit the birds’ natural instincts to tackle the high-tech problem of drones flying in restricted areas.

Janus says the birds are trained “to think drones are their prey” and get a reward if they catch one.

Video released by police showed a small white drone with four propellers rising into the air and a bird of prey grabbing it from above with its talons in one fluid motion.

Dutch police will likely make a decision later this year whether to use the birds.

Janus said part of the evaluation includes research by a respected Dutch scientific organization into whether catching drones could harm the birds of prey.

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