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Spy bird ruffles Sudan’s feathers

Local media claim a captured hawk was carrying electronic equipment and a label marked ‘Israel Nature Authority’

Stuart Winer is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

A hawk flies over the Golan Heights. May 3, 2010. (photo credit: Hamad Almakt/Flash90)
A hawk flies over the Golan Heights. May 3, 2010. (photo credit: Hamad Almakt/Flash90)

Sudanese media reported Thursday that officials had captured a bird carrying spying equipment for Israel.

The Israeli outlet Walla news said that local Sudanese media reported that the bird was identified as Israeli because it was carrying Hebrew labels that read “Israel Nature Authority” and “Hebrew University Jerusalem.”

While details of the story remain sketchy, the reports suggested there was a solar-powered device attached to the bird’s leg. Sudanese media claimed the device was capable of taking photos and sending them back to Israel.

Relations between Israel and Sudan are already nonexistent, but tensions rose after the African country blamed Jerusalem for an October airstrike on a weapons factory in Khartoum.

Israel is often the focus of wild wildlife conspiracy theories based on tracking devices attached to birds by Israeli ornithologists. In May Turkish authorities claimed to have caught a European bee-eater that, they said, may have had Mossad spying equipment implanted in one of its nostrils. The bird had an ostensibly incriminating band on its leg marked “Israel.”

In 2011, Saudi Arabian media reported the capture of a griffon vulture that had Israeli “spying equipment,” marked “Tel Aviv University,” attached to one of its legs.

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