A vulture that was detained by Lebanese villages on suspicion of being on a spying mission has been released back to Israel.
A huge vulture with a 1.9m (6ft 5″) wing span was captured by Lebanese villagers last Tuesday after flying over the border. The bird was tagged with a GPS tracking device which villagers believed to be spy equipment
The griffon vulture had come from the Gamla Nature Reserve in the Golan Heights had a metal ID ring on its ankle which read “Tel Aviva Univ Israel”.
Wildlife officials only became aware of the bird’s capture after photos of the captured bird started surfacing on social media sites.
The bird, which was eventually released with what an Israeli statement called “the great help of UN forces and the UN liaison unit”.
The Lebanese media was keen to impress that villagers freed the bird once it became apparent it was not on a spying mission.
While it’s not the first time Israel has been accused of using animals in Mossad operations, Israel had no comment to make on security operations.