This astonishing video shows a Golden Eagle, Aquila chrysaetos, who has developed an unusual hunting strategy to capture and kill prey that is much larger than itself: grabbing and throwing live goats off a cliff [7:19]
It looks like an ibex (Capra pyrenaica) in Spain. And, to tell the truth, I smell a fake; the eagle is too close for comfort, at least in Europe.
What's your thought?
It had a bit of help developing the strategy. Darren puts up a similar piece of footage, and carel in the comments links to this one.
Ouch! The poor goat hit the edge of the cliff when falling, that must have hurt!
Goat looking up while menacing music plays, switch to shot of eagle. Goat bleats. So much of this is edit-staged jeopardy, though there are some spectacular shots of this eagle in flight.
I call falconry. The cool flight shots are a breeze for a falconer.
Long ago, I saw film at a falconer's meet where a guy had trained a golden to latch onto a deer's butt till the trainer could get there and dispatch the thing. Weird.
I think the shot where the bird grabs the goat's leg and drops it off the cliff is at least possible, but that long, smooth descending glide with goat in foot and a perfect camera angle is a total con job.
My vote: as staged as a Marty Stouffer film.
The video might be real, but I think the sound was dubbed - I don't think you'd hear the goat bouncing from a hundred yards away, as in the very last sequence. Maybe with a shotgun mike.