Polish charity gets huge phone bill thanks to stork

A white stork in flight Image copyright Christine Jung/BIA/Minden Pictures
Image caption White storks (ciconia ciconia) migrate to Africa in the winter months

A Polish charity has received a huge phone bill after it lost a GPS tracker that it had placed on the back of a stork, it's reported.

According to official broadcaster Radio Poland, the environmental EcoLogic Group placed a tracker on the back of a white stork last year to track the bird's migratory habits.

It travelled some 3,700 miles (6,000kms), and was traced to the Blue Nile Valley in eastern Sudan before the charity lost contact.

EcoLogic told the Super Express newspaper that somebody found the tracker in Sudan, removed the sim card and put it in their own phone, where they then racked up 20 hours' worth of phone calls.

Radio Poland says that the organisation has received a phone bill of over 10,000 Polish zloty ($2,700; £2,064), which it will have to pay.

Stork-tagging plays an important role in environmentalists' research and conservation of migratory birds, and data from micro-GPS trackers can be used to help scientists assess birds' habits, social behaviour and threats.

Although the white stork is not currently at risk, industrialisation and the draining of wetlands pushed the species towards near-extinction in Europe some fifty years ago.

Reporting by Kerry Allen

Next story: Chinese park grants free entry to heavier women

Use #NewsfromElsewhere to stay up-to-date with our reports via Twitter.