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Death match: Eagle takes down deer


  • A camera trap set out for endangered Siberian (Amur) tigers in the Russian Far East photographed something far more rare: a golden eagle capturing a young sika deer. (Linda Kerley, Zoological Society of London (ZSL))

    A seemingly unlikely battle between a golden eagle and a baby deer was photographed by a camera trap set up to capture poachers seeking Russia’s endangered tigers.

    The three images captured by the camera cover a 2-second period, and show an adult golden eagle clinging to the deer's back. Its carcass was found two weeks later, just a few yards from the camera, initially puzzling researchers.

    'I couldn't believe what I was seeing.'

    - Linda Kerley of the Zoological Society of London

    The paper and images appear in the September issue of the Journal of Raptor Research. Authors include Linda Kerley of the Zoological Society of London and Jonathan Slaght of the Wildlife Conservation Society.

    "I saw the deer carcass first as I approached the trap on a routine check to switch out memory cards and change batteries, but something felt wrong about it. There were no large carnivore tracks in the snow, and it looked like the deer had been running and then just stopped and died." said lead author Kerley, who runs the camera trap project. "It was only after we got back to camp that I checked the images from the camera and pieced everything together. I couldn't believe what I was seeing."

    Slaght noted that golden eagles have a long history of eyebrow-raising predation attempts.

    "The scientific literature is full of references to golden eagle attacks on different animals from around the world, 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."

    Researchers from the Zoological Society have been using camera traps for six years to monitor Amur tigers in the Lazovskii State Nature Reserve in Primorye in the southern Russian Far East. The images from these traps usually record common prey species, and occasionally a resident or transient tiger—information important to understanding tiger population structure.

    The scientists underscore that golden eagles do not regularly attack deer, and there is no evidence that such attacks have any impact on deer populations.

    "I've been assessing deer causes of death in Russia for 18 years—this is the first time I've seen anything like this," Kerley said.

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Video on Yahoo this am. We had a golden eagle back in the 60s and one tough bird,along with a perigrine,red tails,chicken hawks and my Moms Houdini the burrowing owl who lived in a mailbox. His favorite trick was riding our ancient desert tortise around. Critters galore at our house as we had a huge mew for all the birds.Mom RIP worked for a vet so anything from a jacarundi to a python was in the norm. John

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You'll need it for them leopards as them big kittie kats go for the neck first to snap it like american cougars,nice kittie kittie. That jacarundi we had for awhile ,I believe, was from your area of SA?? Anyhow made that tazmanian devil on cartoons look calm as all fang and claws and did NOT tame so off to san diego zoo he went. -John

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Got news for you. The Jaguars are back. There has been more then a few sightings in the Chiricahua Mountains and along the River bed coming up . They have a thing about water but can do hundreds of miles without it. Big Kitty. The Conservative folks think the Mexican Fence will stop them. LOL It stops No One. Man or Beast.

Edited by homefire
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