Maariv said that the R65 was caught near the home of a sheikh in the community of Hayel in Saudi Arabia. The words “Tel Aviv University” etched in English on a ring clasped to its leg, and especially the transmitter, caused the finders to suspect espionage and alert the security forces.
Ohad Hatzofe, bird ecologist for the Nature and Parks Authority, said that the vulture story has been making the rounds in Arabic internet sites, including Al-Jazeera forums and Arabic military forums. “The subject is receiving great publicity and it is important that Saudi authorities understand that it is not true. There is also an international treaty of nature protection professionals, that forbids doing things like this,” he added.