This imperial eagle, with a mini-camera on its back, gives a breathtaking bird’s eye view of the earth below as it sets off from the world’s tallest building.
The wildlife conservation group, Freedom Conservation, recently released an imperial eagle named Darshan from the tallest man-made structure on earth: the 2,722-foot Burj Khalifa in Dubai. A small camera attached to the eagle provides an incredible view of the flight, including Darshan’s dive-bombing descent to its trainer, Jazques-Olivier Travers.
Travers is the founder of Freedom Conservation and he described his eagle, saying proudly; “Darshan is a male imperial eagle with a wingspan of two meters. He is a very powerful bird, which is necessary as he is donning a 300g camera on his back.”
In an interview with BBC News, a spokesman for Freedom Conservation also indicated that, “We are working on programs to still take the falcons in the wild, use them for a few years hunting, and then release them when they are old enough to reproduce. We can continue to do things that are really fun, like falcon hunting, but we can do it in a way that is sustainable, and the two can work together. This is our message.”
In the video a crowd of onlookers and supporters watch as Darshan flies under the hand directions of Travers on the ground, until the bird gets the signal – Travers clapping his hands over his head – to return to him. The eagle dives with incredible speed and precision before alighting on his trainer’s gloved arm, causing the audience to erupt into applause.
The flight was the latest in a series of similar events – including flights from the Eiffel Tower in Paris and Tower Bridge, St Paul’s Cathedral, and the ArcelorMittal Orbit in London – organized by the conservation group to raise awareness to the plight of endangered animals, in particular birds of prey, which are reportedly under extra pressure in the Gulf states. The rare birds are threatened by smugglers and even royal families in the region who hunt the rare birds.
Freedom describes itself as, “A game-changing conservation movement that seeks to protect and reintroduce threatened birds of prey through creative conservation methods, and generate global publicity for the cause.”