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July 26, 2013 10:14 am

Turkey Clears Israeli Bird of Spying

avatar by Zach Pontz

A Common Kestrel. Photo: Wikipedia.

A squawk of relief can be issued by a renegade kestrel after Turkish officials cleared it of spying for Israel.

The bird was discovered by residents of Altinavya, a village in Turkey’s Elazig province, wearing a metallic ring stamped with the words “24311 Tel Avivunia Israel.” Suspicious that the bird may have been on a spying mission for the Jewish state, villagers turned it over to local authorities, according to Hurriyet Daily News.

Medical personnel at Elazig’s Firat University initially identified the kestrel as an “Israeli Spy” in their registration documents. Intensive medical examinations – including X-rays – determined that the bird had no ulterior motives. There were no sign of microchips that might transmit information back to Israel, for example.

Tagging birds is a common practice in ornithology as it helps scientists track bird migration routes.

Following the tests, the authorities decided not to press official charges, and the bird was set free back into the wild.

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