WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- A radical group called Pigeons United To Interfere Now — or P.U.T.I.N. — released pigeons wearing “Make America Great Again” hats in downtown Las Vegas on Tuesday.
- The group said the stunt was a show of support to Trump and a protest against Nevada’s upcoming Democratic presidential caucus.
- Meanwhile, a pigeon rescue organization called Lofty Hopes condemned the stunt as “animal cruelty” since the glued hats can impair the pigeon’s vision.
A radical group released pigeons wearing “Make America Great Again” hats in downtown Las Vegas this week to show support to Trump and protest against Nevada’s upcoming Democratic presidential caucus.
The group, called Pigeons United To Interfere Now — or P.U.T.I.N. — said they set the pigeons loose on Tuesday as a “one of a kind aerial protest piece in response to the arrival of the 2020 Democratic Presidential hopefuls.”
“The release date was also coordinated to serve as a gesture of support and loyalty to President Trump,” the group continued.
The group informed NBC News in an email on Thursday that they released 25 pigeons: 24 of them wore hats while one sported a Trump-style wig.
They said that most of the pigeons “have returned” and that they are expecting “to see the rest tonight or tomorrow.”
The stunt received mixed reviews from locals, who either found it funny or absurd.
Mariah Hillman, who runs a Las Vegas pigeon rescue organization called Lofty Hopes, condemned the MAGA stunt as “animal cruelty.”
Just last December, pigeons wearing miniature red cowboy hats were spotted on Las Vegas streets.
Hillman told NBC News on Thursday, “It started here with the press making fun of it, the police didn’t do anything about it, and now it’s grown into this, so when is it going to stop and who’s going to do something about it?”
Volunteers have set traps in hopes of safely removing the pigeons’ hats before rehabilitating and releasing the birds.
According to P.U.T.I.N., the hats were glued in place using eyelash glue.
But Hillman argued, “It doesn’t matter what kind of glue it is, it is still in fact cruelty because you are impairing their vision.”
While most pigeons are trained to come back to their flock, Hillman expressed her concerns that “There’s not always a guarantee that they’ll return because they can get injured or killed before that happens.”