WARSAW, Poland — No good deed goes unpunished.
A Polish ecological charity got hit with a gigantic phone bill when a GPS tracker it had placed on a migrating stork was stolen and the SIM card used to make thousands of dollars in calls.
The environmental organization, EcoLogic Group, had tracked the white stork some 3,700 miles from Poland to the Sudan last year, when it lost the signal somewhere in the Blue Nile Valley.
The group assumed that the GPS device had fallen off the bird, but it appears someone found the device and pulled the SIM card out of it, placing it into a phone and then running up 20 hours worth of long distance calls, the BBC reported.
Next thing the charity knew, it had received a bill for 10,000 Polish zloty (approximately $2,700).
Tagging migrating birds has played a big role in scientists’ understanding of how better to protect endangered animals.
While the white stork is not currently at risk, it had been pushed to near-extinction in Europe in the middle of last century due to industrialization and habitat loss.