Bio-boffins' feathers ruffled after miscreants flip 'em the bird, costing charity a lotta złoty
By 3 Jul 2018 at 18:44
A Polish charity is on the hook for 10,000 złoty (£2,010, $2,648) after a tracking device it put on a white stork was stolen in Africa – and its SIM card used to make a ton of expensive phone calls.
The nature group Grupa EkoLogiczna attached the GPS device to the back of the bird, named Kajtka, in April 2017 while it spent the spring in Poland. The gizmo was supposed to track the stork's progress as it migrated south to Africa. Kajtka made the trip safe and sound, and on February 1 this year, it started north again for a European summer vacation.
Ten days later, Kajtka reached the Blue Nile valley in Sudan, and suddenly came to a stop. One could assume was a dead stop, since the bird didn’t move again until April 26, when things got odd for the scientists monitoring Kajtka’s GPS feed.
That day the signal took a circuitous 25 kilometre (16 mile) trip, and then went dead. Then on June 7, the charity’s mobile phone company handed it a massive bill from Kajtka. The earlier last month someone took the tracker apart, and used the SIM card for 20-hours of eye-watering phone calls.