Stray Racing Pigeon May Be Killed By Australian Authorities

Two racing pigeons. Credit: Jan Aarden

Australia

Kevin Celli-Bird discovered a weary bird in his backyard. What he didn’t know at the time was that the pigeon had disappeared from a race in Oregon, U.S.A. on October 29.

Worried about the bird’s health, he crushed a biscuit and gave it. It returned the following day. He then noticed a blue band round its leg. Clearly, it belonged to someone. He nicknamed his new friend Joe after President-elect Joe Biden.

Kevin said the Oklahoma-based American Pigeon Union confirmed that Joe’s registered owner is in Montgomery, Alabama. His attempts to get in touch haven’t been successful.

So how did Joe get to Australia? Experts believe he flew or travelled on a cargo ship for an astounding 13,000 kilometres over the Pacific Ocean from the U.S.

Joe’s extraordinary feat caught the eye of the media and the strict Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service. Officials view the bird as a danger to bird and poultry populations in Australia.

Regardless of its origin, any domesticated bird that has not met import health status and testing requirements is not permitted to remain in Australia.

An Australian Department of Agriculture spokesperson

Kevin said the quarantine officers called him on Thursday, asking him to catch Joe. The pigeon is still roaming about freely, but not for long. Soon it will be no more.

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