Saudi Arabia intends to free an Israeli vulture captured by a local hunter this week on the grounds it has nothing to do with espionage, the head of the Gulf kingdom’s wildlife agency was quoted on Sunday as saying.
Prince Bandar bin Saud Al Saud said tests showed the vulture is a “bald eagle” which was fitted with systems for pure scientific purposes.
“The reports that this bird is equipped with Israeli spy systems arsenal are incorrect…the system tied to its feet is traceable by satellites to know birds’ emigration movements and how they feed with the aim of conducting scientific research on these birds,” he said, quoted by local newspapers.
“These systems are fitted to birds and animals, including marine animals…most countries use these system, including Saudi Arabia…we have taken delivery of this bird but we will set it free again after we verified its systems…there is no need to keep this bald eagle in captivity,” he added, without making clear if the bird would be released with its GPS systems.
Prince Bandar slammed local newspaper for what he described their erroneous reports about that bird.
“Some of the Saudi journalists rushed in carrying the news of this bird for the sake of getting a scoop without checking the information…I am not defending Israel but we need to be clear….they [newspapers] should have asked the competent authorities about the bird before publishing such news.”