Animal news: what’s the deal with Joe?

I’d been picking up bits of info about a pigeon named Joe who, after a monumental voyage from maybe Oregon to definitely Australia, is now on death row.

Huh? I was saying to myself. Well, now the “huh?” question has been answered, thanks to my worldwide researcher, Ellen Kaye, who sent me the facts about Joe, as reported in the Washington Post:

An Alabama racing pigeon that survived a lengthy and mysterious trip across the Pacific Ocean — landing last month in an Australian backyard — is now facing the death penalty.

Local authorities, worried about disease, say they plan to kill the bird as soon as they can catch it.

Well, that’s mean, isn’t it? If they haven’t gotten their hands on Joe — and, given Joe’s acuity, maybe they never will — how do they know he’s diseased?

The exhausted pigeon, sporting a blue band on its ankle, “rocked up” to the home of aptly named Melbourne resident Kevin Celli-Bird last month, the man said.

“It was pretty emaciated so I crushed up some biscuits,” he told Australia’s 9News. 

The bird, a racing pigeon registered to an owner in Montgomery, Ala., is believed to have escaped a competition in Oregon in October, possibly hitching a ride aboard a cargo ship before reaching Australia.

I once was in love or whatever with a guy who had racing pigeons. That’s about all I know about them.

But now the pigeon, which Celli-Bird has named Joe (after President-elect Joe Biden) hangs out in his backyard, bathing in the fountain and has even befriended a local dove.

Aww.

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