Polish environmental group EcoLogic didn’t think twice about placing a GPS tracker on a male white stork. The practice is fairly routine: track Poland’s white storks while they embark on their annual 6,000-kilometer (3700-mile) migration to Africa. The results this year, however, were shocking both to the team and their wallets.
That’s because the SIM-chip transmitter attached to a stork named Kajtek racked up a $2,700 phone bill.
The researchers were tracking Kajtek’s movements and posting his journey online before they lost signal on April 26. His last known location placed him at the Blue Nile region in Sudan. EcoLogic told Super Express it’s unlikely the bird is still alive, and even more unlikely that he was placing the phone calls. They assume someone found the tracker and placed the sim card in their phone, making some 20 calls before the team realized it.