Since knowledge is but sorrow’s spy,
It is not safe to know.
(A poor lost griffon vulture, image courtesy the BBC)
What’s a griffon vulture and the high stakes game of espionage and intelligence gathering have to do with one another?
Yet try telling that to the Lebanese government.
Meet a comedy of errors that had a near disastrous consequence for one hapless griffon vulture.
It seems that this carrion loving bird, who was simply out and about for an innocent lazy ride along the thermals over the Israeli occupied Golan Heights, made the egregious mistake of nonchalantly wandering into Lebanese air space.
He was subsequently captured and “incarcerated” by local Lebanese villagers who mistook him for an Israeli spy.
“A vulture an Israeli spy???!!!” I hear you incredulously howling….
Seems our unsuspecting raptor, who had a tracking device on his tail, was observed flying into Lebanese airspace and was thus assumed to be up to no good…as if eating dead things is a good thing….
But the truth of the matter is that vultures, who have long been absent from this region, were recently reintroduced back into this particular area of the Middle East. Each vulture has a tracking device and a leg tag marking them as a part of Tel Aviv University’s biological research department. Students track these birds in order to monitor their flight patterns, nesting habits, the potential for repopulating the region as well as for their overall wellbeing.
The Lebanese villagers suspecting a “Zionist” plot hatching out right over their heads pegged this lone vulture as a spy most likely complete with a spy cam.
It took the intervention of the UN to broker a deal for the poor vulture’s release and safe return back to the University.
And it should be noted that this is not the first incident of a suspect vulture’s mistaken identity and subsequent “arrest”…..
It seems that even poor vultures are not exempt from the rampant paranoia of high stakes espionage.
So the next time you see a bunch of buzzards circling overhead, eyeing that latest possum roadkill, you might want to think twice about whether or not that’s really a possum and whether or not that’s really a buzzard….
Here’s to putting a smile on your face this Monday morning….