(JNS.org) Authorities in Turkey have exonerated and freed a bird that was accused of being a spy for Israel.
According to Turkish daily Hurriyet, residents of the village of Altinavya in the eastern province of Elazig became suspicious when they found the kestrel, a common Eurasian bird belonging to the falcon family, with a metallic ring stamped with the words “24311 Tel Avivunia Israel.”
The villagers immediately delivered it to authorities, who proceeded to bring the bird to Firat University for medical examinations, including x-rays, to determine that it wasn’t carrying microchips or other spying devices.
Fortunately for the residents of Turkey—and for the bird—the bird was determined not to be a threat and was allowed to fly away.
This isn’t the first bird accused of being an Israeli spy. Last year, residents in Sudan claimed that a captured hawk was carrying spy devices for Israel. The hawk was found with labels in Hebrew that said “Israel Nature Authority” and “Hebrew University Jerusalem.” In 2011, another bird found in Saudi Arabia was also accused of being a spy when they found a tag for “Tel Aviv University” on its leg.
Ornithologists often attach tracking devices to birds to track their migratory patterns.