A stork detained by Egyptian authorities on suspicion of spying has been found killed and eaten after being released, according to reports.
Menes, as the unfortunate bird had been named, was found on an island in the Nile, south of the city of Aswan.
On its Facebook page, Nature Conservation Egypt, said: "After being safely released into the Salugah & Ghazal protected area several days ago, Menes flew off to a nearby Nile Island, where he was captured and killed, to be eaten by local villagers.
"Storks have been part of the Nubian diet for thousands of years, so the actual act of eating storks is not in itself a unique practice. However, the short-lived success story of getting Menes released, was not enough to keep him safe till he exited Egypt."
Police could not confirm the ghastly rumour.
The migratory bird was found last month carrying a suspicious device and was taken to police by a concerned and possibly paranoid man.
After a thorough examination, it was determined the device was nothing more than a wildlife tracker and Menes was released.
Egypt's current turbulent political landscape is ripe for brewing outlandish conspiracy theories.
Rumor in 2010 blamed a series of shark attacks along Egypt's Mediterranean coast on an Israeli plot.
Israel insisted Mossad was not responsible.