Meet the Mon­go­lian ea­gle hunters

World of Animals - - Explore The Earth -

The Kazakh ea­gle hunters have roamed the Al­tai Moun­tains of Mon­go­lia on horse­back for 6,000 years. In a cen­turiesold tra­di­tion, boys pair up with a fe­male golden ea­gle at the age of 13, and they train to­gether to be­come fear­some hunters. With keen eye­sight and pow­er­ful talons, golden ea­gles are for­mi­da­ble in the air. Their wing­span can reach 2.5 me­tres (8.2 feet) and, at full size, they can take on prey as large as a wolf.

In the win­ter, tem­per­a­tures in the moun­tains can drop be­low minus 40 de­grees Cel­sius (minus 40 de­grees Fahren­heit) and food be­comes scarce, but team­ing up with the birds al­lows hu­mans to sur­vive in this per­ilous land­scape. Bird and boy hunt to­gether for al­most a decade be­fore the ea­gles re­turn to the wild, where they can live for a fur­ther 15 years. Meet these in­cred­i­ble birds and their train­ers at the an­nual golden ea­gle fes­ti­val in Bayan-Öl­gii.

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