A pigeon managed to fly across an 8,000-mile (13,000km) distance from the US to Australia, what rare is that the authorities are considering destroying it.
On 26th December, Kevin Celli-Bird, from Melbourne, found the exhausted bird in his backyard, two months after it disappeared.
Experts say that the pigeon, named Joe by Kevin, might have hitched a ride on a cargo ship.
“It rocked up at our place on Boxing Day. I’ve got a fountain in the backyard and it was having a drink and a wash,” he told.
“He was pretty emaciated so I crushed up a dry biscuit and left it out there for him.
He adds, “Next day, he rocked back up at our water feature, so I wandered out to have a look at him because he was fairly weak and he didn’t seem that afraid of me and I saw he had a blue band on his leg.
“Obviously he belongs to someone, so I managed to catch him.”
Kevin has been asked by Australian quarantine authorities to catch the bird but as per Kevin, the pigeon is nowhere to be near since it got its strength back.
“They say if it is from America, then they’re concerned about bird diseases,” he said.
“They wanted to know if I could help them out. I said, ‘To be honest, I can’t catch it. I can get within 500 mil [millimetres or 20 inches] of it and then it moves.”
He further adds that the authorities might employ a bird catcher.
The Agriculture Department released a statement that read- “It poses a direct biosecurity risk to Australian birdlife and our poultry industry.”
Authorities confirm that the pigeon won’t be ‘permitted to remain in Australia’ as the bird ‘could compromise Australia’s food security and our wild bird populations’.
Also stated by Australian National Pigeon Association Secretary, Brad Turner that there can be a potential danger of such birds which might carry exotic diseases or Covid strains and therefore need to get killed.
“While it sounds harsh to the normal person – they’d hear that and go: ‘this is cruel,’ and everything else – I’d think you’d find that AQIS [Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service] and those sort of people would give their wholehearted support for the idea,” he said.
Kevin reportedly tried to get in touch with the owner, who most probably lives in Alabama but hadn’t been able to establish any contact.