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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.)
(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.