Photo: Kobi Saadon
A seagull
Photo: Kobi Saadon

Spying Seagull—the new enemy of the Arab nation

Israeli researches attach a surveillance device onto a seagull's leg in order to track its route. During its flight, the innocent bird lands in Tripoli where locals catch it and transfer the bird to the authorities on suspicion of spying for Israel; The ornithologist who attached the device: 'Let the bird live and set it free.'

Reseaches at Ramat Gan Safari attached a surveillance transmitter to a seagull's leg for research purposes and set it free. Unfortunately, the bird landed in Tripoli, where it was soon caught and transferred to the authorities on suspicion of spying for Israel.


How does a wounded gull becomes an Israeli spy? Ask the media outlets in Arab countries.



This story began a few months ago when a sick seagull discovered in Eilat was transferred to the veterinary hospital at Ramat Gan Safari. In April, the bird recovered and was released near Atlit, a small town located on the northern coast.



A wounded seagull
A wounded seagull

Before its release, researchers attached a GPS-based satellite transmitter onto the seagull's leg, in order to track the bird's migration route.


The gull arrived at Tripoli, Libya. Unfortunately,locals noticed the transmitter attached to its leg, and apparently transferred the bird to the authorities.


The authorities suspected that the seagull was part of an Israeli espionage plot, and Arab media outlets published pictures of the seagull with the transmitter alongside a caption accusing the bird of espionage: "engaged in spying for Israel."


The transmitter indicated that the bird was later transferred to a villa in Beirut, Lebanon. Apparently, the flapping bird had undergone a thorough examination there, perhaps by Hezbollah members.


On August 15, the GPS device stopped transmitting signals on its location, apparently because it had been neutralized. The seagull's fate remains unknown.



A flying Seagull (Photo: Kobi Saadon)
A flying Seagull (Photo: Kobi Saadon)

Amir Ben Dov, the ornithologist who attached the transmitter to the seagull's leg, said on Friday that the device was one of 12 transmitters given by Dr. Nir Sapir, a senior lecturer at the University of Haifa, who received them as donations from a German university.


Ben Dov made it clear that the device was not used for espionage purposes, but rather as a mere tracking device used to track the Armenian seagull's migration route.


"We invested a lot in understanding the migratory trajectory of the seagulls, and to our delight we received 12 transmitters for that purpose,"Ben Dov said.


"We were sorry to discover the pictures of the seagull after being caught by Libya's authorities, and we fear for its life. We see that the bird's captors keep moving with the transmitter, but there is no telling what happened to it," he continued. 


In a message to the bird's captors, Ben Dov said:"I ask for its immediate release. Let the bird live and set it free. It will also contribute to our study, which aims to trace the movement of the Armenian seagull, which is an endangered species, and its nesting sites."


"Unfortunately, there are those who have decided that this innocent bird is a sophisticated Israeli spy," the ornithologist concluded.



פרסום ראשון: 08.19.18, 18:45
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