Unprecedented photographs of an eagle attacking a deer were taken in southern Russia and have amazed people around the world. The three trip-camera was set up in order to take pictures of Siberian tigers in their natural habitat.
It so happens that, instead of picturing tigers, the camera shot, in a two second period, three amazing images of a Siberian golden eagle attacking a deer. Dr Linda Kerley from the Zoological Society of London said in a statement to the press:
“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. 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.”
Dr Kerley has been watching Russian deer for many years: “I’ve been assessing deer causes of death in Russia for 18 years—this is the first time I’ve seen anything like this,” she said.
Mark Fuller, the director of the Raptor Research Center at Boise State University, also spoke about the pictures of the eagle attacking the deer.
He said the photos: “certainly says something about the capabilities of these animals, along with documented cases in North America of golden eagles taking down pronghorns and other large prey as opposed to taking rabbits, groundhogs, squirrels and so forth. The circumstances in which these predators are motivated to take on these riskier prey, however, is not well understood.”
There have of course been reports in the past of eagles, usually golden eagles, taking on prey much larger than themselves, In 2004 a golden eagle reportedly took a black bear cub. There have also been numerous incidents of eagles attacking humans.