Wildlife cameraman Gordon Buchanan joins a remote family of Kazakh nomads to learn about training golden eagles. For thousands of years these people in western Mongolia have formed a unique partnership with these iconic predators, who help them catch furs to survive the freezing winters.
Now Gordon has the intimidating task of learn how to train a golden eagle to hunt, while trying to steer clear of talons stronger than a wolf’s jaws.
Gordon must bond with his young eagle so that it will fly on command and return to him. But how do man and eagle learn to trust one another? And can Gordon get to grips with flying an eagle while riding a horse through the mountains?
Gordon spends days with his young eagle to build trust – even letting her sleep in his tent. He’s advised to “treat the eagle like you’d treat your wife”, but relationships don’t always run smoothly.
Eventually, Gordon faces some of the area’s top hunters in a ‘lure drag’ tournament, where his and his eagle’s skills are put to the test.
The success of Gordon’s eagle means that his mentor’s older eagle can be returned to the wild to breed. A moving and uniquely selfless act that illustrates the respect and love these remarkable people have for an iconic and persecuted predator.
Tribes, Predators & Me Episode 2 (of 3) airs on Thursday 14 September 2017 from 9.00pm-10.00pm on BBC Two.