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Falconry: A very ancient tradition in Kazakhstan

Falconry: A very ancient tradition in Kazakhstan
By Philip Pangalos

The golden eagle of the steppe is the symbol of Kazakhstan. It also treads on its flag, as a tribute to the ancient empire of Genghis Khan, who ruled Kazakhstan and had as its banner a blue flag with an eagle in the middle. Hunting with eagles is a traditional form of falconry found throughout the Eurasian steppe and is a very ancient tradition in Kazakhstan. 

Vladimir Zemblevskiy, a falconer who has been working with birds for 40 years and Executive Director of Burkut Kyran Federation of Kazakh National Sports, showed us how a hunt takes place with the eagle in the steppe, not far from the capital Astana. Vladimir works with Saddaq (a Kazakh name meaning "archer"), a 5-year-old male eagle with a two-and-a-half meter wingspan. Theirs is a special relationship. Vladimir is very proud of Saddaq; you can tell that from the way that he talks to the bird and the way that he looks at it. Vladimir says that he's really grateful to him.

"Man cannot teach anything to the eagle. Man can just learn from the eagle. I learn something new from the eagle every day," Vladimir Zemblevskiy told Euronews.