Well, thanks be to the L-rd; 2011 is a time of enlightenment. For you see, it seems as if a griffon vulture* (nesher) was caught in the Hail region of Saudi Arabia recently and it had a wingtag and a GPS transmitter and 10cm antenna from Tel Aviv University. The vulture also had a small backpack (a scientific one, not the kind you get at Steve’s in the Jerusalem shuk)
Is it a vulture being used in a science study? No, of course not. Saudi officials have arrested the carnivorous bird and accused it of being an Israeli spy, most likely trained by the same Mossad that trains sharks and mosquitoes. (Although the Arab News site reports that the vulture was not arrested, it is only being cared for at the Thumama wildlife reserve near Riyadh by Dr. Mohammed Shobrak, a world expert on the lappet vulture and vultures in general. Shobrak is helping it recover from the trauma of capture)All’s well the ends well. This bird of “prey”er was released today from its capitivity. It turns out that the vulture has some identity confusion.; It is actually an eagle**. HH Prince Bandar bin Saud al Saud (not to be confused with Prince Bandar bin Abdul Aziz al Saud, the former Ambassador to the US), said that the bird is not a spy and he scolded the Saudi media for being irresponsible when it reported that it was. He said, “I am not defending Israel, but we need to be clear. … [The newspapers] should have asked the competent authorities about the bird before publishing such news.” Prince Saud added that his nature authority also tracks rare birds with GPS devices.
*It was an eagle. The vulture is no relation for Yehuda and Dashik, the gay Israeli vulture couple at the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo.
** Even the prophets got their vultures and eagles and sea eagles and bald eagles mixed up. See Micah 1:16 “enlarge thy baldness as the vulture”