WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- A US racing pigeon traveled 8,000 miles from US to Australia.
- It landed on a garden of Kevin Celli-Bird in Melbourne.
- The Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service wanted to catch and kill the bird for fears that it may be carrying disease.
A misfortune for the US racing pigeon awaits its arrival in Australia.
Having travelled 8,000 miles across the Pacific Ocean, a racing pigeon from the US is to be put to death for fears that it may be a disease carrier.
The bird traveler, who then looked “pretty emaciated,” landed on the garden of Kevin Celli-Bird of Melbourne during the Boxing Day.
When Celli-Bird found it, it was having a drink and wash in his backyard fountain. “He was pretty emaciated so I crushed up a dry biscuit and left it out there for him,” he said.
The next day, he noticed a blue band on his leg and realized he “obviously belongs to someone.”
The man tried to catch him but failed.
He then learned that the pigeon, which he named after US president-elect Joe Biden, disappeared from a race at Oregon on October 29. Celli-Bird tried to contact Joe’s owner in Alabama but was unsuccessful.
Joe, as Celli-Bird suspected, was able to fly all the way to his home country through a cargo ship.
Joe’s 13,000-km journey caught the attention of the social media world, as well as the infamously strict Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service, who was concerned Joe has bird disease.
Celli-Bird was contacted and asked to catch the bird, but he honestly said he can’t catch it. “I can get within 500 mil (millimetres or 20 inches) of it and then it moves,” he said.
The quarantine service was considering hiring a professional bird catcher, Celli-Bird added.
Celli-Bird thought that as he’s been feeding Joe pigeon food since it arrived, the bird has “decided that [his backyard] is home.”
According to Australian National Pigeon Association secretary Brad Turner, there were cases of Chinese racing pigeons getting to the Australian west coast aboard cargo ships.
The longest flight recorded by a pigeon, which took 24 days and 7,200 miles, is from Arras, France to Saigon, Vietnam back in 1931, according to pigeonpedia.com.
Source: Sky News