Pigeon Pardoned in Australia

It was the year 2021 when a brave soul flew across the country of Australia only to be captured by scientists and nearly euthanized under the cruel hands of fate. This soul was a racing pigeon.

A grey racing pigeon was spotted in Australia with a tag on its leg that stated that it was from Alabama, USA. Due to Australia’s strict agricultural guidelines and fragile ecosystem, not to mention the ever worrisome Coronavirus, the pigeon was on “Australia’s Most Wanted Criminals” list and set to be euthanized.

The day after Christmas, a building inspector named Kevin Celli-Bird found the emancipated bird in his backyard. He tended to the bird and observed the series of numbers on its leg. After researching a little bit, he discovered that this bird escaped a pigeon race in Oregon but that the bird was registered under a name in Alabama. They believe he got a ride with a cargo ship.

After learning this information, he decided to name the pigeon Joe in honor of America’s President-Elect. 

When the Australian government found out, they weren’t too happy about their hitchhiker. The Departments of Agriculture, Water, and Environment wanted to kill the bird if it presented a health risk. 

Birds have been widely known to carry all sorts of diseases to different countries. The avian flu is the most commonly known example. The avian flu was an outbreak that was first discovered in 1996. Chicken products and wild birds spread it. It could then be passed from person to person. The symptoms are similar to influenza viruses with a cough, sore throat, muscle aches, headache, and shortness of breath. However, this is a deadly disease in humans. 

 Another commonly known bird-carried virus is rabies. Not many people know that birds naturally carry rabies. Birds do not get sick from the virus, but when in contact with most mammals, it can induce fever, make their brain and spinal cord swell, create painful spasms when swallowing, and eventually, death. The foaming at the mouth is the most well-known symptom. They foam because the virus causes an excess of saliva in order to spread the disease more rapidly since it is primarily spread through the saliva of an animal. 

Australia did not want to risk the possibility of bringing yet another virus to their country. However, Joe escaped death because a pigeon rescue center analyzed the pigeon through Facebook and concluded that the pigeon is most likely Australian with a knock-off racing tag from eBay. After this discovery, the Australian government pardoned the pigeon and let it go free.