Almost 200 years later, Saudi Arabian security services have arrested a vulture tagged by an Israeli university wildlife resarch programme as a "Zionist spy".
Residents and local reporters told Saudi Arabia's Al-Weeam newspaper that the matter seemed to be linked to a "Zionist plot" and swiftly alerted security services. The bird has since been placed under arrest. The accusations went viral, according to the Israeli Ha'aretz newspaper, with hundreds of posts on Arabic-language websites and forums claiming that the "Zionists" had trained the birds for espionage.The Israeli authorities have denied any espionage, and claimed that the bird was part of a long-term academic study of the migratory habits of the vulture.
It is not clear what sort of vulture-based intelligence the Israelis could be looking for.