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Dead Israeli Pelican of Course Called a Spy

Mossad continues its top-secret ‘Operation Moo’

Marc Tracy
September 01, 2011
(Ye Olde Tablet Photoshoppe.)

In 2007, Iran said two pigeons with “invisible strings” were in fact Mossad operatives. So, said Egypt, was a shark that killed a resort-goer in Sharm-el-Sheikh. And then, earlier this year, there was the case of the vulture-agent captured (and then released) in Saudi Arabia. The latest anthropomorphic Israeli covert actor is a great white pelican, tragically killed in the line of duty in Sudan—it flew into a fisherman’s net. The pelican’s death has become a sensitive subject; it is being returned to Israel only by virtue of German and American mediation. It was equipped with a GPS tracker so that Israeli spies scientists could spy on Sudan map the endangered species’ migration patterns. “Anyone who would use wild animals for spying is a world criminal because that would be the end of wild life,” a scientist in the project said. “To use them for espionage? Well, we would be the last ones to do that.”

As for what happened to this bird: “It started to move across the Blue Nile slowly in the summer,” a scientist said. “For some reason, this bird, a male, gave up the spring migration. We don’t know why.” Sure you don’t.

Marc Tracy is a staff writer at The New Republic, and was previously a staff writer at Tablet. He tweets @marcatracy.