A pigeon discovered in a Melbourne garden suspected having flown more than 8,000 miles across the Pacific Ocean from Oregon in the United States will not be killed. Australia had declared the pigeon a biosecurity risk, however it has now been confirmed the bird did not fly between the two countries.
According to The Guardian, the pigeon named Joe, the marathon flier could have presented a disease risk and for that reason was slated to be euthanized. It wasn’t until the public expressed outrage that authorities from the American Racing Pigeon Union began to research the band the bird wore on its leg; soon to determine the band “is counterfeit and not traceable.”
The man who found the pigeon, Kevin Cell-Bird had been surprised the pigeon created such drama, but when the federal government decided on the pigeon’s death, a lawmaker called for a “pigeon pardon for Joe.”
Soon after, Australia’s Agriculture Department agreed the band was a “fraudulent copy” and decided to spare Joe’s life. The president of the Central Cumberland Racing Pigeon Federation in Sydney, Phil Murphy said the bird did not even resemble a racing pigeon. Joe appears to be only a few months old; racing pigeons are at least eight-months of age.
“It’s not a racing pigeon. It looks like a fancy pigeon and someone has got a hold of a ring and put it on it,” he said.
The Facebook group Pigeon Rescue Melbourne have been very active in helping Joe.
“Hello pigeon people, just letting you know that we are working on helping Joe. We believe he is not an American pigeon at all – rather an Australian pigeon wearing a knock-off American ring that anyone could buy off EBay. We’ve had lots of birds come through with these rings! We will keep you posted…”
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