It was obviously part of a scientific experiment, but the locals were convinced the vulture was there to spy on them.
The bird was found in a rural area of the country wearing a transmitter and a leg bracelet bearing the words 'Tel Aviv University', according to the reports, which surfaced first in the Israeli daily Ma'ariv.But it wasn't just the local yokels that believed this vulture was some avian version of Mata Hari, the story took flight and wound up an Internet sensation.
Although these tags indicate that the bird was part of a long-term research project into migration patterns, residents and local reporters told Saudi Arabia's Al-Weeam newspaper that the matter seemed to be a 'Zionist plot.'
The accusations went viral, with hundreds of posts on Arabic-language websites and forums claiming that the 'Zionists' had trained these birds for espionage.
I'm not sure if anyone came up with any theories as to what kind of intelligence gathering a vulture might obtain, but the poor, ugly creature was detained, and one has to wonder what kind of punishment it's in for if found guilty. 200 lashes? Its wings clipped? Deprived of dead animals for 6 months?
And it's not the first time that Israelis have been blamed for something uber bizarre. Last month it was a shark attack:
The Sinai regional governor last month suggested that a shark that killed and maimed tourists on its Red Sea port may have been intentionally released by Israeli agents in order to sabotage the country's tourist industry.
'What is being said about the Mossad throwing the deadly shark in the sea to hit tourism in Egypt is not out of the question. But it needs time to confirm,' Mohamed Abdel Fadil Shousha said, according to the Sun.