‘Spy vulture’ from Israel captured in south Lebanon

Special to WorldTribune.com

Residents of a southern Lebanon town captured a vulture they say was a spy for Israel.

According to Lebanese media, residents in Bint Jbail on Jan. 26 saw the griffon vulture equipped with what they believed was Israeli spy equipment and captured it “to prevent it from attacking citizens.”

Israeli spy vulture captured in Lebanon. /Arab media
Israeli “spy vulture” captured in Lebanon. /Arab media

The “spy vulture” actually was released in the Gamla Nature Reserve by the Israel Nature and Parks Authority (INPA) about a month ago. The INPA said the griffon vulture (also known as the Eurasian griffon), “was brought in from Catalonia in hopes it would increase the population of what has become an endangered species throughout the Middle East and particularly in Israel.”

The “spy equipment” that led to the bird’s capture were transmitters worn by the vulture to track its movements, the INPA said.

“In the 21st century we expect that people would understand that wild animals are not harmful and that their role is to act according to nature,” said Ohad Hatzofe, an avian ecologist for the INPA. “We hope that the Lebanese will take care of him and release him.”

Lebanese media reported that the griffon vulture was released, but the INPA could not confirm the report.