Ducks (illustrative)
Ducks (illustrative) Israel news photo: Flash 90

Egyptian police have arrested a duck that they fear was sent by Israel as a spy, Egypt’s Al-Ahram news agency reports.

The bird was spotted by a fisherman in the Nile River, in the Qena region, as it swam with other birds. The fisherman noticed that the bird had a device attached to its feathers, which he feared could be used to gather information.

A security official told Al-Ahram that experts are examining the device to see if it could have been used to gather intelligence.

The Cairo-based paper El-Fagr expressed concern that the bird may have been sent by Israel, “which previously spied on Saudi Arabia, Turkey and neighboring countries using trained birds of prey.”

Turkish authorities announced in May 2012 that they had found a bird used by Israel for espionage purposes. In December, officials in Darfur also announced that they had found an Israeli “spy eagle.”

Israeli officials confirmed that the eagle bore a tracking device, but explained that it was for the simple purpose of tracking the bird itself, as part of a study to ensure the safety of the rare species.

Other bizarre animal-related accusations have included an Egyptian official’s complaint that the Mossad released attack sharks into Egyptian waters, and Palestinian Authority claims regarding attack boars and anti-Arab rats.