Vulture Accused of Being a Spy

01/05/2011 11:24 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011
  • David Mizejewski Naturalist & Wildlife Expert, National Wildlife Federation and Host, NatGeo WILD

Today's Animal Oddity is the griffon vulture that was detained by officials in Saudi Arabia as an Israeli spy. I know this sounds like something out of the Onion or SNL, but it seems to be true.


The vulture is part of a long term migration study by biologists in Tel Aviv, who fitted it with the GPS device to monitor its movement. This is a standard technique used in wildlife research. The unfortunate vulture made the mistake of flying into Saudi Arabia, where it was captured and discovered to be wearing the GPS unit.

Conspiracy theories are now flying, with many Saudis accusing the Israelis of sending the vulture as a spy. The bird is still being held. Last month, Egypt accused Israel of sending a killer shark to plague its beaches. I honestly can't believe they are blaming Israel. I mean, clearly these events have Dr. Evil written all over them.

You can read more odd animal news, behaviors and discoveries on my blog, Animal Oddities.