A photographer captured rare footage of two golden eagles swooping down on domesticated lambs in a mountainous area of Beijing’s Fangshan District, leaving onlookers in awe as one of the giant birds of prey flew away clutching a helpless lamb.
“Suddenly, another golden eagle appeared, joining the predation with their wings open. The scene of one golden eagle catching a sheep is rare enough. We were even more stunned when the big bird snatched the struggling lamb, flying into the shadow,” said Duan Zheng, an amateur photographer who captured the rare scene.
The golden eagle, one of the well-known birds of prey in the Northern Hemisphere, falls under first-class state protection in China. Thanks to decades of effort in protecting biodiversity, the area has welcomed the increasing arrival of such birds in recent years.
“The golden eagle is at the top of the food chain in the ecological environment. Its arrival suggests a better food chain composition here,” said Zhang Zhiming, an official with Beijing Municipal Forestry and Parks Bureau.