In Mongolia, if you grow up hunting with eagles, then you grow up right.
A story has emerged that has been circulating the Internet showing off a 13-year-old Mongolian girl that grew up hunting with eagles.
Ashol-Pan, the girl this story centers on, is one of very few, if not the only female that may have ever attempted hunting with eagles in the Mongolian 2,000-year-old practice.
As is the tradition, children can begin training their eagles at age 13, but only after they have selected a female eagle from a wild nest and spent countless hours bonding with the bird.
From there, they stalk rabbits, foxes, and other wild game by horse until the animal is flushed. Next, the eagle is released to take it down.
After several years in service to the hunter, the eagle is released back into the wild with a butchered sheep to keep it fed as it adapts to its new found freedom. After some time to grieve, the whole process starts over again with a new bird.
Ashol-Pan is part of a small group of students learning to hunt with eagles today. She will represent a new generation of hunters that will pass this tradition down to others as they come of age to begin the practice themselves.