Did this really happen? Yes indeed, but it is not what you think, I’m having a bit of fun with a rather misleading title.
Here is the spy in question …
Yes indeed the “spy” is actually a stork. So the story here is that when it was spotted with a wildlife tracker it was detained by police last August. Apparently a resident in Egypt’s Qena province, 280 miles southeast of Cairo, became suspicious after noticing a European wildlife tracker on the bird. “Ah Ha”, they go, it is obviously spying on us and is a (insert whatever batshit crazy conspiracy theory takes your fancy here).
Eventually Nature Conservation Egypt (NCE) managed to explain what was really going on and so they let it go … and now … well as NCE explain on their Facebook page …
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.
In summary, if you are a Stork and in Egypt these days, then you really are completely buggered.