Migrating vulture is grabbed by militants in Yemen as SPY after seeing the GPS tracker of a group of animals on his leg
- The young griffon, known as Nelson, was captured in the Yemeni city of Taiz
- The bird had a GPS transmitter on its leg as part of an environmental project
- Pro-government militants fighting Iran-backed rebels feared it was a spy plot
Nelson the griffon vulture (photo) was caught in Yemen because of the fear that it was used to spy pro-government troops there
A vulture was captured by a militia in Yemen who feared that the migrating bird was a spy.
The juvenile griffon, known as Nelson, was imprisoned in the city of Taiz after apparently being separated from his co-migrating vultures.
The bird had a GPS tracker attached to its leg when it left Bulgaria as part of an environmental group's effort to relive it into the wild.
But militants in the Yemeni city saw the channel and feared it was being used to spy on them during the country's long-running civil war.
Pro-government troops in the city fighting Iran-backed rebels took the bird into captivity, according to The Times.
The Fund for Wild Flora and Fauna said it had received hundreds of messages from Yemenis for the welfare of the bird.
& # 39; Our team is in contact with local conservationists there and we hope the vulture will be rehabilitated and come back to Bulgaria & # 39 ;, the group said.
The bird, hatched in 2018, was released last November in the Kresna gorge in Bulgaria.
The GPS tracker followed the vulture as he flew over Turkey and Yemen to migrate to warmer temperatures in the winter.
The civil war in Yemen has been furious since March 2015, with a Saudi-led coalition fighting against Iran-focused Houthi rebels in the state of the Middle East.
A map with the migration of the bird from Bulgaria before it was caught in Yemen
Nelson, in the photo, had a GPS tracker attached to his leg as he set off from Bulgaria as part of an environmental group's effort to relaunch it into the wild
According to the United Nations, 22 out of 29 million people in the country need help.
An air raid by the Saudi coalition that killed dozens of people last August was called an apparent war crime by Human Rights Watch.
Yemen has also witnessed two outbreaks of cholera and acute watery diarrhea since 2016.
Yesterday, President Donald Trump vetoed a bill passed by Congress to end US military assistance to the Saudis in Yemen.
Mr Trump has been under pressure about relations with Saudi Arabia since the kingdom was accused of killing dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi last year.