PETA's spies on the ground are soon to be complimented by eyes in the skies.
The group last week publicly announced that it is seeking aerial drone technology to monitor hunters in areas where common animal abuses occur.
"PETA aims to collect video footage of any illegal activity, including drinking while in the possession of a firearm, a common complaint from those who live near wooded areas; maiming animals and failing to pursue them so that they die slowly and painfully; and using spotlights, feed lures, and other hunting tricks that are illegal in some areas but remain common practices among hunters," a statement announced.
The group says that it is currently pursuing the purchase of a CineStar Octocopter from Australia-based drone manufacturer Aerobot. For "ready-to-fly" models, prices range anywhere from $7,500 to more than $10,000 for more lift — and more bells and whistles. Using a lightweight camera, flight times can exceed more than 20 minutes.
"The talk is usually about drones being used as killing machines, but PETA drones will be used to save lives," says PETA President Ingrid E. Newkirk. "Slob hunters may need to rethink the idea that they can get away with murder, alone out there in the woods with no one watching."
The group hopes to purchase one or more Octocopters and start field testing them in the fall. According to CNN, PETA is also looking at leveraging the technology overseas "where there may be fewer restrictions."
Check out video of the Octocopter in action below.