Did Afghan Police Kill Monitored Endangered Species, Or A Bird With Bomb Attached To It By The Taliban? [Video]

Both The Blaze and NBC News reported that Afghan police shot down a bird with a possible Taliban bomb attached to it. The news publications attached a video of the bird that the Afghan police were claiming “exploded” when they shot it down.

The police claimed that they noticed the bird had an antenna sticking up out of its back so decided to shoot it down. When they shot the bird, it “exploded” in mid-air before falling to the ground. The video shows the Afghan police filming the slightly charred bird and they zoom in to images of the “bomb parts” and electrical components found on the bird. Gen. Abdul Nabi Ilham told NBC News on Saturday, and upon inspection, the carcass revealed plenty of “suspicious metal stuff.”

However, if you pause the video on the piece of “suspicious metal stuff,” attached to the bird and read the writing, it appears the Afghan army shot down a bird that was being monitored by the ECCH (Emirates Center for Conservation of Houbara). The video shows a small tag with writing. On the tag it has the letters ECCH- Houbara Conservation with a telephone number in Uzbekistan 011 998 93 950 9530 (9550- ext).

Here is a screenshot of the close-up of the tag showing the ECCH information.

The bird in the image also appears to be a Houbara Bustard, which is a bird that is part of the monitoring programs of ECCH. The bird is considered an endangered species and is heavily monitored for breeding programs. I have a sneaking suspicion if someone was to call the ECCH they would find that the conservation group is now missing one of their Bustards.

Houbara Bustard
Here is what a living Houbara Bustard looks like. Now compare that to the photo of the dead bird in the video. Very similar.

As for the “explosion” reported by the police. Much of the bird is still intact for a bomb-type explosion. It appears that the police shot the tracking device which caused the electrical components in the device to “explode.”

What do you think? Was this a cleverly disguised Taliban bomb or a simple conservation monitoring device?