The stork that was detained by Egyptian police on suspicion of spying has been killed and eaten, days after its release.
Police detained the stork after a man saw a tag on it and caught it, suspecting it was a spying device. The stork had been tagged by zoologists to track its migration.
According to Nature Conservation Egypt, the White Stork, which they named Menes, was released into a conservation area in southern Egypt but flew to an island in the Nile where it was caught and eaten.
Below are the relevant entries from Nature Conservation Egypt's Facebook timeline.
On Saturday, August 31st, news surfaced over the capture of a White Stork in Qena, referred to over social media as #SpyDuck, after concerned citizens suspected the stork was a tool of espionage because of the satellite tracking device attached to its back. Security apparatuses have already declared that this device poses no threat to Egypt's security, and a report is to be produced by a governmental veterinary committee.
Nature Conservation Egypt (NCE) has been contacted by the concerned Hungarian researchers responsible for tagging the "detained" White Stork, and they have provided (the already public) information on the specific stork in question...
NCE is currently following up with the different administrative entities in Egypt to ensure that the necessary steps are taken for the release of this White Stork.
According to Dr. Fatma Tammam, Undersecretary of State for Egyptian Zoos and Wildlife Conservation, the captured White Stork (also referred to as #SpyDuck) is currently under the care of the Veterinary Authority in Qena, awaiting a decision from the Qena Prosecutor's Office for the release of the stork.
Dr. Fatma Tammam, as well as the Nature Conservation Sector of the Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency (EEAA) and Nature Conservation Egypt (NCE) are all following up with the release of the stork. Until then, here is a link to show you the fascinating journey of this stork. Hopefully this "transit" will not delay its Autumn migration to Africa. satellitetracking.eu/inds/showmap/?check_111=111
The captured White Stork (a.k.a.#SpyStork/ #SpyDuck) has officially been released after the prosecutor's office issued its decision for the release of the stork.
Ménes the White Stork has been released in good health into the custody of Aswan-based park ranger, Haitham Ibrahim. The stork is currently being transported to Aswan, to be released in Salugah & Ghazal Protected Area. Hopefully Ménes the White Stork will wake up tomorrow to good company & warm air currents that will help it soar to its next destination. We will keep you posted.
Sad news: Menes the White Stork has been killed. After being safely released into the Salugah & Ghazal protected area several days ago, Menes flew off to a nearby Nile Island, where he was captured and killed, to be eaten by local villagers. Storks have been part of the Nubian diet for thousands of years, so the actual act of eating storks is not in itself a unique practice. However, the short-lived success story of getting Menes released, was not enough to keep him safe till he exited Egypt.
Egypt has long suffered from issues of uncontrolled hunting. However, it is important to always balance the needs of local communities with the needs of nature and biodiversity conversation.
We truly are saddened by the tragic end to Menes' journey, but once again, we would like to thank the park rangers of Aswan for their excellent initial efforts to get Menes the White Stork released safely into a protected area.
The entire region has a very long way to go, specially in the field of raising awareness on hunting and migratory birds. NCE will keep you updated on such efforts and projects.