Saudi Arabia Arrests Vulture ... as Israeli Spy

Because it was tagged by Israeli scientists
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 5, 2011 1:21 PM CST

(Newser) – Saudi Arabia has captured a dangerous Mossad spy—and it has feathers. The cunning agent in question is a griffon vulture that alighted in Saudi territory with a transmitter strapped around its leg reading, “Tel Aviv University.” Its cover story: researchers at the school tagged it to study its migration patterns. But Saudi authorities aren't buying that for a second: They arrested the bird, Haaretz reports, with local residents and reporters saying it looked like a “Zionist plot.”

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The bird is still in custody, according to the BBC, and researchers are distraught. “The device does nothing more than receive and store basic data about the bird's whereabouts, and about his altitude and speed,” one expert said. “I hope they release the poor thing.” This isn’t the first time the Mossad’s been accused of zoological wrongdoing—last month an Egyptian official floated the idea that Israel had released the Red Sea's killer shark to hurt tourism there. (Read more vulture stories.)

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