The Stork That Spied

Spy Stork Under Arrest - Photo Credit:AP

A stork migrating over Egypt was found by a resident in the area of Qena, about 300 miles south of Cairo, in early September. The political turmoil in the country has left citizens nervous. When the Egyptian man noticed a tracking device on the stork, he captured it and turned it in to the police fearing it was some sort of spy equipment.

Egyptian police arrested the stork, making a thorough investigation of the device and the accused bird before finally releasing it into a conservation area in southern Egypt. It then flew to an island in the Nile where it sadly met its demise. The cause of its death is still unknown, although local villagers have been accused of eating it.

Hundreds of thousands of birds are currently migrating from Europe to Africa, flying over Israel and Egypt. SPNI's Israel Ornithological Center works throughout the country to protect these birds while SPNI works to preserve the natural habitats these birds need to rest and sometimes breed during their migration, effecting biodiversity on a global scale.

Reporters at Yedioth Ahronoth asked SPNI's Joseph Keyet to investigate the origins of the identification ring. Keyet found that the ID number 943H originated in Hungary, where researchers presumably placed the device on the bird to track its migration. Jonathan Meyrav of the Israel Ornithological Center estimates that about 600,000 storks migrate over Israel each year.

SPNI is disappointed that these birds cannot receive the same protection in other regions as they do in Israel.