Bulgarian Vulture Detained for Espionage in Yemen

Vulture marked in Bulgaria became hostage to the Yemeni army. The story begins in the autumn of 2018 when the vulture starts its traditional autumn migration. Flying through Yemen where currently is war conflict happening, though, caught by local people. Once the authorities understand that there is a transmitter, the Griffon Vulture, which is a protected species, is captured.

After long diplomatic negotiations, it was finally released.

The vulture, accused of espionage by the Yemeni army, is probably hatched somewhere in Croatia, says Ivelin Ivanov, responsible for the Vulture Recovery Program in Bulgaria. The wild bird is marked in our country, where it is also a transmitter. Last fall, unsure of what is ahead of her, she is heading for her annual autumn migration.

"Our hero has arrived in Saudi Arabia, where we get the last signals for her, then the signals disappear. Going into Yemen, we are losing a signal with her, because it turned out that there was no roaming there. So two or three months we had no contact with her. A few days ago we received a mail message with pictures of our bird. She has specific flagship marks from where we realized she was, "Ivanov said.


Photographs were sent by local Yemeni residents who decided that once someone bothered to tag a bird and leave her contacts on her, she would be ready to pay the ransom for her to be released. The ransom was not paid, but after identifying the person who had captured it, the vulture's trouble continued: "The army confiscated the bird in suspicion that the vulture is a spy because they think the transmitter is a spy device. After a letter we sent, we received assistance from the Embassy of Yemen in Bulgaria. They managed to convince the commander of the army where...

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