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Remote Wildlife Camera Snags Amazing Shots of Eagle Taking Down Deer

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Before today, if you were to ask me who would win in a fight, an eagle or a deer, I would probably have bet on the deer given the obvious size advantage. But recently released shots from a wildlife camera set up in a remote corner of Siberia show how wrong I would be.

The three sequential photos show a golden eagle diving at a sika deer several times its size and sinking its huge talons into the mammal’s back. The well-scavenged deer carcass found next to the camera attests to the eagle’s hunting success.

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The images were captured in December of 2011 by a camera trap set up by the London Zoological Society to track endangered Siberian tigers in the Lazovsky State Nature Reserve.

The photos were only recently released to the public, however, after a research paper on the incident was published by the Journal of Raptor Research. No surprises here: they quickly went viral.

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Jonathan Slaght of the Wildlife Conservation Society and co-author of the paper said in a statement that golden eagles have a history of ambitious predation, often using their strong talons to break an animal’s spine.

“The scientific literature is full of references to golden eagle attacks on different animals from around the world,” said Slaght. “From things as small as rabbits — their regular prey — to coyote and deer, and even one record in 2004 of an eagle taking a brown bear cub.”

(via Scientific American)


Image credits: Photographs by Linda Kerley/Wildlife Conservation Society


 
  • Dominic Arkwright

    Carnivorous dinosaurs rule.

  • http://www.purseblog.com/ Vlad Dusil

    Size advantage? F that, the bird is HUGE.

  • Aiden

    WOW I wonder how long till the eagle tries to take down a human!?

  • http://www.packerphoto.com/ Peter Acker

    I went out a few times with some Falconers in the UK to document them hunting with Goss Hawks and Red Tail Hawks and they told me about someone from another club, flying their Golden Eagle at a park and it taking out someone’s dog. They’re beasts!! Their hawks took down a few pheasants and rabbits that day which was pretty cool to see, so fast!

  • Clara Neisess

    Well then it could definitely explain children that go missing.

  • Alex

    The bird may be large as far as wingspan but probably doesn’t weigh more than 10 pounds. That deer on the other hand is probably 60 pounds or more, the deer has a huge advantage.

  • Hai

    Do yourself a favour and YouTube eagles hunting wolves and be prepared to be astounded. The Kazakh people of Mongolia have been hunting with trained golden eagle a for centuries. And they, golden eagles are HUGE.

  • eric

    That is a metaphor for F#@king with America

  • dan110024

    It’d be like an American version of Australia’s “the dingo took my baby” case.

  • Jerod Garland

    I find it very interesting that an eagle would try to attack something as large as a deer. The eagle was larger than I would’ve given it credit for but I feel like it is still a very large animal to take down with that kind of attack. The bird couldn’t fly off with it and the bird doesn’t have any teeth or any thing so I guess he was just “winging” it. Ill be here all night.