Bald eagles used to help take down illegal drones

THE NETHERLANDS, (WECP) - A police department in Europe is experimenting with an innovative way to keep illegal drones out of the sky.

Officers are using eagles to do their take-downs.

CBS' Jonathan Vigliotti went to The Netherlands for a test flight.

The Dutch National Police Department's newest recruits have wings.

Hunter the bald eagle is the world's 1st bird trained to take down drones that cause trouble in the sky.

Sjoerd Hoogendoorn is the CEO of Guard from Above.

"During training," Hoogendoorn said, "they've proved to be the best birds of prey to take down drones."

Hoogendoorn developed the program and contracts his eagles out to police.

"The second that hood is off and hunter spots a drone," CBS' Jonathan Vigliotti said, "he's off, and with flight speeds up to 80 miles per hour, there's no escaping his talons."

Ben de Kaiser is the trainer.

"How do you go about training your eagles to go after drones," Vigliotti said. "What's your secret?"
"How?" de Kaiser asked.
"He's talking," Vigliotti said, "but are you?"

de Kaiser laughs.

de Kaiser will only say, it's a mission that requires daily training for at least year. He says the eagle's naturally protected claws allow them to safely grab any *consumer* drone.

Dutch National Police Chief Mark Wiebes says until now, there was no safe, quick way to capture the drones.

"We expect there to be more drones," Chief Wiebes said. "People buy them as toys and some will use them in the wrong place the wrong way."

These recruits have another month of test flights, before they can take off and take down the real thing.

Dutch researchers are looking into the impact drone propellers may have on the eagle's claws.

Jonathan Vigliotti, CBS News, The Netherlands.