A bald eagle took down a government drone in Michigan, state officials said Thursday.
The bird of prey attacked the Phantom 4 Pro Advanced quodcopter drone about 162 feet in the sky on July 21, “tearing off a propeller and sending the aircraft to the bottom of Lake Michigan,” according to the state Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy.
“The attack could have been a territorial squabble with the electronic foe, or just a hungry eagle,” the department said.
An environmental quality analyst and drone pilot, Hunter King, was mapping shoreline erosion on Lake Michigan with the device, which was flying at 22 mph, when it began twirling out of control and he spotted an eagle flying away, it said.
A bird-watching couple that was nearby said it saw the eagle strike something and appear to fly away uninjured, department officials said.