The racing pigeon that travelled 15,000km from Alabama to Melbourne is now facing euthanasia by quarantine authorities.
The “tame” bird decided to drop into a backyard on Boxing Day in the south-eastern suburbs of Melbourne to drink in a water feature. When it came back the next day, the home-owner Kevin Chelli-Bird decided to try and find its owner.
After doing some research on the band attached to it, it turns out the bird was actually registered to an American racing pigeon union and hails all the way from Montgomery, Alabama.
Quarantine authorities have since contacted Celli-Bird to ask him to catch the pigeon for them to collect so they can put it down amid fears it may be carrying diseases.
“The last 12 months have been hell for most people, now we’ve finally got a good news story, and they’re wanting to put an end to it,” he told Nine.com.au.
There’s been a devastating twist in the story of Joe the wayward racing pigeon that turned up in a Melbourne backyard about 15,000km from its home in the United States. The bird will be euthanised as it poses a "biosecurity risk" to Australia. pic.twitter.com/iRZskyGuJP
— Sunrise (@sunriseon7) January 14, 2021
The Agriculture Department state that the pigeon was “not permitted to remain in Australia” as it could “compromise Australia’s food security and our wild bird populations.”
Since Chelli-Bird is unable to catch the pigeon, quarantine authorities are now considering contacting a professional bird catcher.