Migrating Russian eagle racks up eye-popping data roaming bill

  • 5 years ago
NOVOSIBIRSK, RUSSIA — A GPS-wearing bird from Russia has racked up a hefty data roaming bill after flying much farther than researchers expected.

According to the BBC, the female eagle, called Min, had been fitted with an SMS transmitter so Russian scientists could track her migration paths from Siberia.

She was one of 13 birds the researchers were monitoring. But while the rest of 'em stayed relatively close to home, Min spent the summer in Kazakhstan, out of range of a mobile network.

This left her with a huge backlog of SMS messages meant to deliver her coordinates to scientists.

From there, she flew straight to Iran, where the entire backlog of messages got sent for 49 roubles a message, compared to just 15 if it was sent from Kazakhstan.

Needless to say, Min's excursion cost way too many pretty pennies, using up the entire tracking budget for all the eagles, and then some.

The researchers had to set up a crowdfunding campaign for the bill, and have since raised 100,000 roubles, or $1,500.

Russian mobile phone operator Megafon has also offered to cancel the exorbitant bill, and gave the project on a special tariff to make tracking cheaper.