Poor kestrel! It was happily flying over the Turkish province of Elazig when it was captured by villagers in Altinavya. Its crime? It was wearing a bling ring with the text “24311 Tel Avivunia Israel.” The villagers deemed the bird to be a feathered Israeli spook and promptly handed it over to the local authorities.
Scientist the local Firat University initially deemed our feathered friend to be indeed an “Israeli Spy” until tests, including X-rays, showed that the poor kestrel was just a bird – no microchips or hidden tracking or transmitting devices anywhere in or on its body.
Turkish authorities decided that he did not pose any national security risk and decided not to press charges. The lucky bird was allowed to fly off.
This isn't the first time that a bird was suspected of spying for Israel. Sudan suspected a vulture that was captured in the Darfur region of spying for Israel. According to Egypt’s El Balad, the bird of prey was equipped with a GPS chip and solar-powered equipment that enabled it to take pictures.
The evidence brought against our avian spook was a logo tagged to its leg, which convinced Sudanese security officials that the Hebrew University of Jerusalem was spook central.
Also Saudi Arabia does not rust vultures to be just birds. Authorities captured a griffon vulture suspected of being part of a “Zionist plot” - based on GPS transmitter on its leg bearing the name of Tel Aviv University,Israeli researchers tried to explain that young vultures are often tagged with a GPS chip to monitor what happens to them for scientific research. Needless to say, it fell on deaf ears.
Poor birds of prey - they now know how Dreyfus must have felt....