A female steppe eagle named Min has duped ornithologists involved in an eagle-tracking project from the Wild Animals Rehabilitation Centre in the Russian city of Novosibirsk by suddenly swerving from its habitual course.
The bird had a special transmitter registering its whereabouts and sending the coordinates via short messages that normally cost just a small amount of money.
However, the capricious avian obviously got tired of her familiar routes and decided to take a foreign trip to Iran which made the price of the messages skyrocket almost 25 times, essentially depleting the entire budget for the project.
"Min comes from Khakassia (a region in Russia). The bird spent her entire summer in Kazakhstan, outside of the mobile networks range, and managed to take a really unexpected flight to Iran making all her locations unsent. And now, somewhere in Iran, she is sending us hundreds of hugely expensive messages with its summer coordinates...costing 49 roubles (75 cents) each, exhausting the entire collective budget for other 12 eagles in the project," one of the scientists said on her Telegram channel.
To make up for the monetary damage, the ornithologists launched an online campaign where anyone could transfer money to help the project.