Eagle Attacking Deer Caught on Camera in Russia, Pictures Go Viral (PHOTO)

Sep 25, 2013 10:35 AM EDT | Matt Mercuro

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Deer

A deer being attacked and killed by an eagle. (Photo : Zoological Society of London and Wildlife Conservation Society.)

Photographs of an eagle attacking a deer were taken in southern Russian and have since gone viral all-over the world.

A three tip-camera was set up to take pictures of Siberian tigers in their natural habitat, according to a press release from the Wildlife Conservation Society.

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Instead of tigers, the camera caught three photos of an eagle attacking a deer in a two-second time-span.

"I saw the deer carcass first as I approached the trap on a routine check to switch out memory cards and change batteries, but something felt wrong about it," Dr. Linda Kerley with Zoological Society of London, lead author of a paper about the photo published in Journal of Raptor Research, said in a statement.  "There were no large carnivore tracks in the snow, and it looked like the deer had been running and then just stopped and died."

Though the photos show the golden eagle holding on to the deer's back, researchers found a deer carcass two weeks later near the camera site, according to the press release.

"It was only after we got back to camp that I checked the images from the camera and pieced everything together. I couldn't believe what I was seeing," said Kerley in a statement.

Eagles have been known to attack a number of different animals like coyote and smaller animals, but normal eagle predation does not impact the deer population.

The images taken on the camera was a part of a six-year project to study a "very rare, opportunistic predation event."

"I've been assessing deer causes of death in Russia for 18 years-this is the first time I've seen anything like this," Kerley said.

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