As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Afghan Police Shoot Rare Bird They Thought Had A Bomb

Fearing that the Taliban had begun weaponizing wildlife, Afghan police in Faryab Province shot a bird wearing a "small antenna and suspicious device," NBC News reported. Upon being hit, the bird "exploded," according to police chief Abdul Nabi Ilham. In an unfortunate twist for all involved, the bird appears to be a vulnerable species called a houbara bustard, rarely seen in Afghanistan. Officials collected what they think are traces of a GPS tracker, not an actual bomb, from the bird.

Though it would mark the first time a Taliban conscript had feathers, there’s a long, strange history of enlisting animals in war. Not only have combatants ridden horses or relied on dogs to sniff out bombs, but in World War II, the U.S. military also trained pigeons to pilot simulated missiles, and they strapped actual bombs to bats (neither project was implemented). War dolphins are a more recent — and controversial — phenomenon, with Russia seizing trained Ukrainian cetaceans in March.

No comments:

Post a comment