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Female eagle clocks up huge cell phone roaming charges after flying to Iran

By The Siberian Times reporter
25 October 2019

Top-up needed after scientists tracking feathered predators receive huge mobile SMS bills from ‘hundreds of messages’.

Eagle Min spotted this winter in India. Picture: Nirav Bhatt

Russian scientists in Siberia have been tracking the flight routes of migrating steppe eagles.

GPS trackers were attached to 13 birds; their initial flights from Russia to neighbouring Kazakhstan was observed. 

One eagle named Min, born in the Russian republic of Khakassia remained for much of the summer in an area of Kazakhstan outside cell phone coverage. 

Here she stored a large number of messages specifying her location, but they could not be sent at Kazakhstan’s reasonable roaming rates. 

Then she overflew Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan as well as Iran and Saudi Arabia before returning to a garbage dump in Iran.

Her routing is shown in red on the map.

Top-up needed after scientists tracking feathered predators receive huge mobile SMS bills from ‘hundreds of messages’.


Top-up needed after scientists tracking feathered predators receive huge mobile SMS bills from ‘hundreds of messages’.


Top-up needed after scientists tracking feathered predators receive huge mobile SMS bills from ‘hundreds of messages’.
Top-up needed after scientists tracking feathered predators receive huge mobile SMS bills from ‘hundreds of messages’. Pictures: Elena Schneider


It was here that accumulated stored messages from the summer were all sent in one go - at a roaming charge of 49 roubles ($0.75) per message, leading to bills totally hundreds of dollars.

Novosibirsk ornithologist Elena Schneider said: 'She sent us hundreds of expensive SMSs with her summer locations, spending the entire collective budget for our eagles.' 

Another eagle called Khakas (grey on the map) is hanging out at a site close to the border between hangs out in the dump on the opposite side of Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. 

Depending which side of the border he is, the text messages he sends are either reasonably priced or expensive.

Now researchers have started a campaign called 'Top up the eagle's mobile' to fund Min’s expensive foreign travel. 

Top-up needed after scientists tracking feathered predators receive huge mobile SMS bills from ‘hundreds of messages’.
Female eagle clocks up huge cell phone roaming charges after flying to Iran. Picture: Elena Schneider


Elena urged followers on her Telegram channel: 'Friends! Comrades! Readers! We have opened for everyone a unique opportunity to top up the eagle's mobile. 

‘We really really need this help now. 

‘Since Min has already exhausted the eagle budget, and expenses are still serious. 

‘We cannot let the eagles stop broadcasting - this is a very important study with interesting results. 

‘We are looking for sponsors, but for now we hope to support the eagles in small amounts from all sympathisers at least until the end of the year.’

Topping up the phone +79231901933 .

Meanwhile there is a map to follow the routes of the steppe eagles: http://rrrcn.ru/ru/migration/se2018 

Min seems to have moved on now to Saudi Arabia. The map also highlights her earlier travels which saw her reach India.

Comments (17)

It seems this has been sorted folks, with Min's roaming charges from Iran covered by Megafon.

https://vk.com/birds54

Look for two posts from October 26. However, additional funding can only help, so keep up the good work!

Only donate to the number posted, not to any scammers who approach you directly.

Even in Siberia, it's a jungle out there!

;)
Paul, London, UK
02/11/2019 04:04
2
0
Geofence your devices so they only download only in non-roaming countries. Your device is proven that it can store a large quantity of datapoints.
Shawn, USA
01/11/2019 20:46
0
1
How can I donate ?
Thomas, Vienna
29/10/2019 01:01
0
4
Could you set up a Go Fund Me Page? Не могли бы вы создать страницу Go Fund Me?
Sharon, UK
28/10/2019 03:28
3
0
The number is correct and belongs to Megafon Siberia...

This site looks legit and takes PayPal credit cards:

https://www.prepaidunion.com/en

This site 'says' it takes regular PayPal, but you have to join to find out for sure.

https://mobilerecharge.com/

Both these sites locate the number correctly!

:)
Paul, London, UK
28/10/2019 02:27
4
0
Re a donation - I' outside the area served by those telecom providers and I'm not too happy with giving credit card details to web apps, but would be good with sending something through PayPal - is that possible?
Rob, Phnom Penh
27/10/2019 09:53
1
1
Love to read ST
Concerning, nature loving and heart touching articles
Will definitely contribute...
Farooq, Kashmir India
27/10/2019 09:09
2
0
Wow. Could you ask your your phone company to wave the charges. It would be a very good PR job for them! Не могли бы вы попросить вашу телефонную компанию отменить обвинения. Это была бы очень хорошая пиар-работа для них!
Sharon, UK
27/10/2019 03:36
7
0
I mean @Adlerhorst in Germany, of course. Duh!
Paul, London, UK
27/10/2019 02:59
4
0
@Alexander in Novosibirsk - Thanks for the recharge.com link. Looks like a necessary bookmark, but unfortunately they cannot locate the given phone number. Doesn't inspire confidence... :(
Paul, London, UK
27/10/2019 02:56
4
0
Min likes trips!.. Good work
Jocelyne, FRANCE
26/10/2019 15:34
2
0
Great work
K.Varunprasath, India,Nilgiris
25/10/2019 23:54
2
0
Great story. Thank you for sharing
Edward Bohannon, Herndon, Virginia USA
25/10/2019 22:21
2
0
Sorry this page only in Russian , but you can try http://nsk.megafon.ru/pay/online_payment_credit_card
Alexander, Novosibirsk
25/10/2019 21:16
3
2
In Eastern Europe this works a bit differently. Usually you have an app on your mobile installed with which you can "top up" (charge up or recharge) your own account or even someone else's account. You just enter the number and the amount and then your credit card or whatever is being charged. It's a bit like German prepaid cards from supermarkets, just without the supermarket. But: as a German there is no use for you to have such an app installed.

You could try recharge.com which seems to do the same thing from a web page. But I never tried this.
Adlerhorst, Germany
25/10/2019 21:14
3
1
12

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