Suspected 'Spy Stork' Exonerated, Killed, and Eaten

Freed Egyptian spy stork flew right onto someone's dinner plate

The Egyptian spy stork's freedom was short-lived, as was the stork.

An innocent stork finally got his day in court and was released after his exoneration, but in spite of his blamelessness, the stork shortly became dinner.

According to The Guardian, the stork was arrested earlier this month when an Egyptian fisherman spotted a strange device on the bird’s back and thought it was a spy for foreign powers. The fisherman captured the bird and delivered it to the local police, where it was investigated by police and local veterinary experts who eventually figured out that the bird was just wearing a tracking device, not a wire or a camera. 

French scientists investigating migration patterns had affixed the device, and the bird was just going about its business without spying on anybody.

Despite the bird’s innocence, it remained behind bars for several days until local prosecutors said it was OK to let the bird flee the coop. Meanwhile, Egyptian conservationists named him Menes. Unfortunately, Menes’ freedom was short-lived, as was he. After being released from prison into a conservation area in southern Egypt, Menes decided to leave the safe zone and fly to an island in the Nile, where he was promptly killed and eaten.

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"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,” Nature Conservation Egypt said in a statement. “However, the short-lived success story of getting Menes released was not enough to keep him safe till he exited Egypt. … 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.”