Meet the Mongolian eagle hunters
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.