The racing pigeon traveled 13,000 kilometers across the Pacific Ocean from the United States to find a new home in Australia. Now the authorities consider the bird dangerous for quarantine and plan to kill it.
Kevin Chelley-Bird said Thursday that he found the emaciated bird in the backyard of his Melbourne home. It turned out to be a pigeon that disappeared during a race in the US state of Oregon on October 29.
Pigeon racing is a sport with the participation of specially trained “racing” pigeons. They are transported to the race distance from where they are released simultaneously. Birds must fly to their nursery, having covered a certain distance along the way. Using this distance and the time is taken to fly, each pigeon’s flight speed is calculated.
Experts suspect that the dove, which Kevin named Joe, after the United States president-elect, “rolled” on a cargo ship to cross the Pacific Ocean.
Joe’s feat attracted the attention of the Australian media and the notorious for its strictness of the quarantine and inspection service. Authorities called Kevin on Thursday to ask him to catch the bird. However, he was unable to catch the pigeon.
The authorities are now considering hiring a professional bird catcher.
In charge of biosecurity, the Department of Agriculture said the pigeon was “not allowed to remain in Australia” because it’s finding “could threaten Australia’s food security and local wild bird populations.”
“This poses a direct biosecurity risk to Australian birds and our poultry industry,” the agency said in a statement.
Earlier in 2015, the government threatened to put two Yorkshire terriers, Pistol and Boo, to sleep after smuggling into the country by Hollywood star Johnny Depp and his ex-wife Amber Heard. The dogs were given 50 hours to leave Australia and boarded a chartered plane to leave the country.