Dutch police are retiring their drone-catching eagles due to a combination of performance issues and a lack of need, according to a report from NOS. The eagles were originally deployed as a way to intercept wayward (and potentially dangerous) drones, but training the eagles is reportedly too costly, and the need for them is too low.
Various solutions have been developed to deal with the issue of drones flying where they’re not allowed, but the eagles were probably the most interesting, and definitely the coolest to watch in action. In fact, you can see a demonstration of one of these trained eagles in the video below:
Other drone-control solutions involve police drones that launch nets to capture the unwelcome drones, and jamming devices that disrupt a drone’s ability to communicate with its remote control, causing the device to return home. The Netherlands, however, chose to experiment with eagles instead.
Unfortunately, despite intense training, the eagles didn’t always act as intended, reports NOS, citing a statement from a police spokesperson. Given these training troubles, officials worries that the eagles might not perform as expected when used outside of their training environment.
Between this possibility and a (surprising?) lack of demand for drone-catching eagles, the program is now officially shut down.