Lebanon Returns Israeli Vulture Cleared of Spying

The BBC reports:

A huge vulture detained in Lebanon on suspicion of spying for Israel has been returned home after UN peacekeepers intervened, Israeli officials said.

The bird, which has a 1.9m (6ft 5in) wing span, flew over the border from an Israeli game reserve and was caught by Lebanese villagers on Tuesday.

They became suspicious as the griffon vulture had a tracking device attached to its tail.

It is part of a conservation project to reintroduce raptors to the Middle East.

Wildlife officials say the vulture was brought from Spain last year and set free about a month ago in the Gamla Nature Reserve in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.

 Tel Aviv University is involved in tracking the bird, and as well as a GPS transmitter, it had tags on its wings and an engraved metal ring on its leg saying: “Tel Aviv Univ Israel.”

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