Falconry in Kazakhstan
There are some really enthusiastic things about travelling. It is far beyond just the famous places, food and sceneries of the destination. Exploring sport of different kind with a long history attached to it is one such thing. Yes you heard it right. Bull fight, Camel wrestling, Horse soccer, are only few such sports, you might have heard about. Adding to this list, in this article we will talk about another quirky, criticized yet fascinating sport known by the name falconry. Falconry today has gained a form of increasingly famous sport in Kazakhstan from tourism point of view. Falconry is a sport of hunting with birds of prey like eagle. Falconry has a long history. Hunting with golden eagles is a tradition reaching back thousands of years on the Eurasian steppe. Nowadays it is still practiced in U.S., U.K., Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and in, China. Let us see some interesting facts about falconry in Kazakhstan.
Dramatic relationship between man and animal has been kept alive for long. In Kazakhstan hunters take a lethal bird of prey from its mother, nurse it until it has a wingspan larger than most humans, and then train it to attack fast-moving prey from the air and hand it over to them, their masters. In Kazakhstan falconry has been of two kinds in general. One is hunting with birds of prey and another is hunting with eagles. Kazak people have hunted with eagles for centuries and now this old practice is being revived as competitive sport in the country. Once number of falconers had gone down to 10 under the rule of Soviet Union but now Ministry of sports and tourism organises annual contest in Almaty. Number of falconers attending the contest has gone above 100. This tradition of falconry is getting lot of attention lately. There is an eagle hunting museum in the small town of Nura, two hours east of Almaty.
What is there for travellers about falconry? well, travellers can discuss the technique of capturing and training an eagle. You will be able to see eagles flying for prey. You can enjoy horseback riding and hunting with Kazak eagle hunters also. You can enjoy a bird show at Sunkar Raptor Sanctuary situated outside Almaty which uses wolf-skin lure to demonstrate the lethal striking ability of trained eagles. You can take selfie with the falconers here who happily poses with you for photographs. The fact that you can drive anywhere in Kazakhstan and allows you to get to more and more areas of the falcons' habitat. Yes the numbers of hunters are still less and birds of prey are endangered still government here is making all effort to preserve both falcons and falconers.