National Geographic : 1967 Sep
Trained to hunt,. a golden eagle rides its master's fist in the Kirgiz Soviet Socialist Republic. A leather hood calms the bird until its release to fly down game. When the horse man tires from holding the eagle, he may rest his arm on the forked stick fixed to his stirrup. Striking a hapless fox, the eagle sinks deadly talons. The falconer gallops up to assist in the kill. He will reward the bird with a bit of raw meat. As recently as 30 years ago, the Kirgiz hunted deer with eagles and sold the antlers to Chinese for medicine. They still gather peri odically to pit prize eagles in con tests. A wild golden eagle seldom attacks livestock; it cannot carry off quarry much heavier than itself.