A Japanese pigeon was found in a Canadian air force base in Vancouver Island, where it apparently made the almost 5,000-mile journey from Japan, across the Pacific Ocean, to Canada. The bird was found tired (obviously) and thin from the journey and was taken to an animal rescue center in British Columbia where it was nursed back to health. The local Pigeon Racing Society has opted to adopt the bird, hoping to breed long-distance racers from its offspring.
“We believe it took off from land in Japan and got confused or got caught up in a storm and got lost before eventually hopskotching its way to Canada, stopping and sleeping on freighters along the way,” the Mountainaire Avian Rescue Society’s Reg Westcott said. A racing pigeon’s top range is typically 650 kilometers (404 miles). This particular one travelled an amazing 8,000 kilometers (4,971 miles). The Japanese owner was eventually contacted, as the bird had a telephone number printed on a tag attached to its leg. The owner did not wish to have to pay to fly the pigeon back aboard a commercial flight, and so initially, the Canadian authorities were not sure of what to do with it. The local Pigeon Racing Society had then offered to take in the long-distance flyer – they labeled it a migratory bird, which allowed the authorities to hand the bird over without any papers – and planned to set it up with some female birds. “I’m sure his offspring would be very good long-range racers,” Westcott commented.
Westcott said that in his 17-year career in animal rescue, he has only come across one other pigeon that survived the incredible voyage across the Pacific Ocean. That other one had landed on a Canadian Coast Guard ship, and was eventually flown back to Japan. There was also a Citrine Wagtail songbird that flew all the way from Asia that attracted bird enthusiasts from across the United States and Canada, making the trip all the way to Vancouver Island to get a glimpse of the animal.
[via Fox News]
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