Camera trap captures astounding images of golden eagle killing deer
posted Wednesday, September 25, 2013 at 1:30 PM EDT
A camera trap set up to observe siberian tigers has managed to capture something researchers have never seen before: an immense golden eagle swooping down, and killing a sika deer in Russia. While its been known for some time that large eagles will sometimes prey on some deer, it's the photographic evidence that makes this case so interesting.
Published in the Journal of Raptor Research, the images were released in a press release and are also viewable at National Geographic, and show the bird attacking the young deer. The camera trap caught just two seconds of the attack, which occurred back in 2011. Golden eagles are larger and heavier than our own bald eagles, and are known to hunt other large mammals. The camera trap recorded 7,000 images over the course of five months, and just three of them were of this attack.
Soon after reviewing the images, researcher Linda Kerley of the Zoological Society of London and her colleagues checked near the photo trap, and saw the downed deer. Here's how she describes it:
"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.