Golden Eagle Attacks Deer in Camera Trap Footage

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A rare death match between a golden eagle and a young deer was inadvertently captured by a camera trap set up to snap pictures of Russia's endangered Siberian tigers.

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The sika deer (Cervus nippon) was found dead in December 2011 by a researcher tending to the camera trap, which was being used to monitor the habits and movements of tigers in Lazovsky State Nature Reserve in Russia's Far East.

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Conservationist Linda Kerley, of the Zoological Society of London (ZSL), recalled that something felt immediately wrong as she approached the carcass.

"There were no large carnivore tracks in the snow, and it looked like the deer had been running and then just stopped and died," Kerley, who runs the ZSL's camera trap project, said in a statement. "It was only after we got back to camp that I checked the images from the camera and pieced everything together. I couldn't believe what I was seeing."

The camera trap footage only captured two seconds of the attack in three photos, but it showed quite clearly an adult golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) clinging to the young deer's back. (Camera Trapped: Elusive Wildlife Caught in Photos)

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