The bird was detained when local suspected it of being an agent of Israeli espionage
A vulture has been apprehended in Lebanon on suspicion of spying.
The bird flew from an Israeli nature reserve, across the border into neighbouring Lebanon, where residents of the southern Lebanese town of Bint Jbeil captured it, The Guardian reports.
Israeli citizens contacted the Israel Nature and Parks Authority when they saw Facebook posts that included pictures of the bird, with an Israeli identification ring and location transmitter, who had been captured.
A spokesperson for the Authority said the transmitter (attached for research purposes) was apparently the cause of the situation, with the town’s residents believing this was some form of espionage kit.
“Reports passed to us show the vulture tied with a rope by local people who write that they suspect Israeli espionage apparently because of the transmitter attached to him,” the authority said.
“In the 21st century, we expect people to understand that wild animals are not harmful. We hope that the Lebanese will release him,” it added.
Reports now claim the animal has been released after locals determined it did not pose a security risk.
This is not the first time animals have been apprehended on suspicions of espionage, with Hamas claiming in 2015 they had taken into custody a dolphin with a video camera that was used for Israeli spying, and in 2011 Saudi security forces were reported to have detained a vulture wearing a GPS transmitter and ID ring from Tel Aviv University.