Vulture Israel Yaron Kaminsky
A vulture being released into the wild in Israel. Photo by Yaron Kaminsky
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Saudi Arabia has announced its intention to release a vulture suspected of being an Israeli spy, Israel Radio reported, mere days after the bird of prey apparently became a captive of the kingdom.

Last Tuesday, a vulture tagged by scientists at Tel Aviv University had strayed into Saudi Arabian territory, where it was promptly grabbed on suspicion of being a Mossad spy.

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.

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.

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 British newspaper The Sun.