BINT JBAIL , Lebanon, Jan. 27 (UPI) -- A vulture that flew across the border between Israel and Lebanon was captured on suspicion of being a spy.
The vulture was attached with a tracking device from Tel Aviv University, raising the suspicions of residents of Lebanese town Bint Jbail who captured the bird.
"[Locals in Lebanon] caught the bird for sure," bird ecologist Ohad Hatzofe said according to CNN. "They were holding the bird in their hands."
Staff at Gamla Nature Reserve were able to track the vulture as it crossed the border but lost signal shortly after the bird entered Bint Jbeil.
The bird had been allowed to fly freely in an attempt to increase the dwindling vulture population in Israel but residents in Lebanon sought to make certain there was no foul play considering the history between the two nations.
"It would not be the first time residents of south Lebanon have found birds that serve Israel for research purposes," Haaretz reported. "After examining the bird to make sure it was not carrying listening or spy equipment it was returned to nature.
Authorities in Israel have been unable to track the vulture since its capture despite the bird's release.