BBC- A pigeon that travelled across the Pacific Ocean is to be put down after running afoul of Australia's strict quarantine rules.
The bird reportedly went missing during a race in the US state of Oregon in late October, before turning up in Melbourne almost two months later.
But officials say the pigeon, which has been named Joe, poses a "direct biosecurity risk" to Australia's bird population and poultry industry.
The bird will be caught and euthanised.
Melbourne resident Kevin Celli-Bird says he found the pigeon in his back garden on 26 December.
"He was pretty emaciated so I crushed up a dry biscuit and left it out there for him," he told the AP news agency.
Some internet research led Mr Celli-Bird to discover that the bird, which is registered to an owner in Alabama, was last seen during a pigeon race in the western US state of Oregon.
But after news of Joe's appearance made headlines in Australia, Mr Celli-Bird was contacted by officials concerned about the threat of infection.
The pigeon has not yet been caught, but the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment says it will have to be put down because of the danger of infection to local birds.
"Regardless of its origin, any domesticated bird that has not met import health status and testing requirements is not permitted to remain in Australia," a department spokesperson said in a statement.
"The only possible outcome to manage the biosecurity risk is humane destruction of the bird."
It is not clear how the bird managed to make the 8,000-mile journey from the west coast of the US to southern Australia, but officials believe he is likely to have hitchhiked on board a cargo vessel.
What a bunch of assholes those Aussies are.
First off, Kevin Celli-Bird (what are the odds this guy's last name is Bird?) what the fuck is your problem man? Try and keep shit to yourself one time for me man. You find an emaciated bird that just flew 8,000 miles to your God-forsaken prison-island and you can't go and rat to the authorities fast enough? You ever heard the phrase "loose lip sink ships?"
Poor Joe was obviously chilling on the coast in Oregon after his race, and picked the wrong cargo ship. Next thing he knows he's in the middle of the Pacific with no land in sight. Talk about a nightmare. Poor guy probably didn't eat for a couple weeks.
He reaches land and the first guy he sees is this Kevin fella who treats him to a crushed up biscuit. He thinks he's safe. But oh no, Kevin alerted authorities like all weirdo's do when they see a bird. What?
Just like the mom from Blow when George comes home to hideout and thinks he's safe but the whole time he's relaxing and having a drink with his dad his piece of absolute shit mother called the cops on him. (If you never read my "Worst Mother's In Movie History" blog here it is, it's a doozy)
(what are you looking at mrs. crater your son's no prize)
And let me stop you right here, I know what everybody's thinking.
"Who gives a fuck about pigeons? They're dirty. They're rats with wings"
Au contraire pal.
A little known fun fact about pigeons- pigeons descend from royal bloodlines. They're actually relatives of doves. And they're fucking brilliant animals. They were actually the first "mail service" in human history. The Syrians, Romans, and ancient Greeks, all used them to deliver handwritten messages long distances. They also saved tens of thousands of Allied Forces lives in both World Wars. Before radio, they were used to deliver messages to and from behind enemy lines. I'm not saying they are war heroes but I'm not not saying either. They are able to fly thousands of miles while knowing where they're going and where they came from. So next time you want to hate on pigeons check yourself. (I'm a big bird guy)
Also, I'm sure a lot of people are wondering what the fuck a racing pigeon is.
Pigeon racing is an old guido thing (so I thought, apparently its big in the south too?). Especially in Rhode Island. There's whole leagues setup of all these old Italian guys in Providence that raise and train pigeons and then race them from one part of the country to another with big money bet on them. It's fuckin crazy. So much money involved that there's of course fixing, and scandals, always playing a part.
But back to Joe.
Acting Australian Prime Minister Michael McCormack said he did not know what the fate of the bird named Joe, after the U.S. president-elect, would be. But there would be no mercy if the pigeon were from the United States.
“If Joe has come in a way that has not met our strict biosecurity measures, then bad luck Joe, either fly home or face the consequences,” McCormack told reporters.
Arite tough guy.
Australia is going to have a major PR nightmare on their hands if they find and kill this innocent bird. Somebody needs to get through to them and tell them to do the right thing and put Joe back on a ship headed towards the real world and be glad they didn't do anything stupid.
p.s.- Mike Tyson loves pigeons too
----- UPDATE ------
AP WIRE - A pigeon that Australia declared a biosecurity risk may get a reprieve after a U.S. bird organization declared its identifying leg band was fake.
The band suggested the bird found in a Melbourne backyard on Dec. 26 was a racing pigeon that had left the U.S. state of Oregon, 13,000 kilometers (8,000 miles) away, two months earlier.
On that basis, Australian authorities on Thursday said they considered the bird a disease risk and planned to kill it.
But Deone Roberts, sport development manager for the Oklahoma-based American Racing Pigeon Union, said on Friday the band was fake.
The band number belongs to a blue bar pigeon in the United States and that is not the bird pictured in Australia, she said.
“The bird band in Australia is counterfeit and not traceable,” Roberts said. “It definitely has a home in Australia and not the U.S.”
“Somebody needs to look at that band and then understand that the bird is not from the U.S. They do not need to kill him,” she added.
Counterfeiting bird bands is “happening more and more,” Roberts said. “People coming into the hobby unknowingly buy that.”
Joe might be saved after all!
Counterfeit racing bands! Can you believe this shit?
Told you pigeon racing is wild shit. I need somebody with a connection to hit me up so we can film a video or something. I need an in-depth look at how it's done.
Pigeon racing has seen a resurgence in popularity, and some birds have become quite valuable. A Chinese pigeon racing fan put down a record price of 1.6 million euros ($1.9 million) in November for a Belgian-bred pigeon.
----------- UPDATE --------------
Earlier today this health minister guy and a lawmaker piped in with these lines defending our guy Joe the Pigeon.
But Martin Foley, health minister for Victoria state where Joe lives, called for the federal government to spare the bird.
“I would urge the Commonwealth’s quarantine officials to show a little bit of compassion,” Foley said.
Andy Meddick, a Victorian lawmaker for the minor Animal Justice Party, called for a “pigeon pardon for Joe.”
“Should the federal government allow Joe to live, I am happy to seek assurances that he is not a flight risk,” Meddick said.
Then this afternoon this announcement was made -
In the face of growing evidence, on Friday evening, the department of agriculture announced in a statement that it had “concluded that Joe the Pigeon is highly likely to be Australian.” The department said it was “satisfied that the bird’s leg band is a fraudulent copy of a legitimate leg band.”
In other words, the bird was deemed not to be an American intruder. As such, it was free to continue living in Mr. Celli-Bird’s backyard.
Mysteries remain, such as why someone had faked the pigeon’s racing band. The sport is highly competitive and counterfeit bands may signify desirable origins. Last year, a Chinese fan bought a Belgian racing pigeon for $1.9 million.
It’s also unclear if the bird will get to keep its new name and whether it will make its way home. Earlier on Friday, Mr. Celli-Bird said, “If it chooses to leave, it can; if it stays, we’ll just keep feeding it.”
Smart move Australia, you're not as dumb as you sound. Thank you for doing the right thing.
Hit the fuckin music-