A man has posted footage on YouTube of his encounter with a ram. The video begins with some scenic, aerial views on the hills but then zooms in on a lone ram, who is enjoying a leafy snack.
The creature then multitasks: While still chomping, he gains momentum by edging backwards and repeatedly head-butting the aircraft until it is knocked to the ground. The next thing we know, the animal is chasing after the operator, who tries to defend himself with a stick.
The user posts in the description of the video that he was “looking for the angry ram” with his UAV and “got a bit close.” He notes that the quadcopter was not damaged, but the ram “got [him] pretty good.”
One of the various comments from other users says that operating a UAV that close to a creature is “inexcusable” and that it is “idiotic behavior like this that will help ruin this hobby for all of us.”
Another user observes that the ram did not appear ‘scared or concerned’ but was simply ‘trying to eat his breakfast.’
A few months ago, the National Park Service (NPS) said it witnessed a UAV flying close to a herd of bighorn sheep at Zion National Park in Utah. The NPS has since banned UAVs in National Parks – although there have been several rule-breakers in recent times.
‘Animals can be injured when attempting to escape or avoid drone activity,” wildlife biologist Cassie Waters said in a release related to the bighorn-sheep disturbance. ‘Drones can also change the natural behavior of wildlife and lead to unnecessary energy expenditures. This has the potential to affect survival and reproductive success in many species. We are therefore really concerned with drones, their effect on wildlife and our ability to preserve the natural environment.’