Bald eagle takes down government drone in Michigan

by Joel Abbott · Aug 14th, 2020 12:21 pm
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Last Updated Aug 15th, 2020 at 5:38 pm

According to Michigan state officials, a bald eagle attacked and downed a government drone used for environmental surveying.

Ironically, the craft was owned by the Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy, or EGLE.

The official report documents the vicious attack on the Phantom 4 Pro drone.

"The brazen eagle vs. EGLE onslaught took place near Escanaba in Michigan's Upper Peninsula on July 21 when EGLE environmental quality analyst and drone pilot Hunter King was mapping shoreline erosion for use in the agency's efforts to document and help communities cope with high water levels," the report reads.

The eagle tore off one of the drone's propellers, sending the aircraft plummeting into Lake Michigan. King searched for the fallen drone, enlisting a nearby couple that had seen the attack, but was unable to locate it. The couple reported the eagle seemed to be uninjured after the incident.

Another staff member used scuba gear to search the drone's last broadcast position 150 feet offshore, but his attempts were also in vain.

EGLE is unsure what provoked the attack, but staff members are planning to use designs on the replacement aircraft "to make them look less like seagulls."

EGLE reports it jokingly reached out to the Department of Natural Resources to see if "it might issue a citation or violation notice to the rogue eagle."

"Unfortunately, there's nothing we can do," the department spokesman replied. "Nature is a cruel and unforgiving mistress."


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