A drone that was attacked by an eagle and disappeared into the depths of Lake Michigan has been recovered.
The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy found the device on the lake bed Tuesday afternoon using global positioning coordinates it sent during its final transmission.
It was missing a propeller but “otherwise showed little evident damage from the encounter,” officials said.
The drone was documenting soil erosion when it was attacked by a bald eagle July 21 and descended into the lake. Two previous attempts to find it were unsuccessful. Officials were able to find it the third time after murky water cleared because of shifting winds and currents.
Because the drone was in “return home” mode, its camera was off and video of the encounter with the eagle will likely not be on its memory card.
“As a practical matter, it’s best we not ruffle anymore feathers,” Arthur Ostaszewski, drone flight coordinator with the group, said in a statement. “As noted animal behaviorist Dr. Temple Grandin eloquently said, ‘Nature is cruel, but we don’t have to be. We owe them some respect.’”