GPS-Equipped Stork Raised Concerns After Disappearing In Lebanon

A Migrating Black Stork Disappeared In Lebanon

The Society for the Protection of Nature in Lebanon (SPNL) recently received an alert from an expert in Estonia about a migrating black stork that had seemingly disappeared in Lebanon mid-migration.

In the alert, Dr. Urmas Sellis of the Eagle Club of Estonia expressed his concern about the said club’s quickest black stork, Timmu, which had stopped sending GPS data through its transmitter from September 15th onward, the SPNL said in a blog post on Thursday.

The threatened animal had been around the lakes of Kfar Selouan in the Mount Lebanon Governorate for a suspiciously long period of time, the SPNL said, but its GPS data up until that point hadn’t indicated its death by illegal hunting.

Nonetheless, the alert prompted the SPNL to conduct a search in the Kfar Selouan area to hopefully rule out the possibility of illegal hunting, but the bird was not found.

Fortunately, Timmu turned out to be safe and was, as of the latest GPS data on Thursday, already all the way in Ethiopia.

The fast, long-necked bird had been traveling very quickly but sending data back to its trackers irregularly.

Though Timmu left Lebanon unharmed, many other storks do not.

Despite local efforts to prevent the illegal hunting of these animals, numerous migrating birds get shot down during their passage over Lebanon, including in March when thousands of migrating white storks were slaughtered mid-flight using automatic weapons and other rifles.

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