Mystery as Missing English Homing Pigeon 'Bob' Winds Up 4,000 Miles Away From Home in Alabama

Monroe County Alabama Animal Shelter

Bob was supposed to fly 400 miles to Gateshead, which was supposed to take 10 hours but the pigeon must have gotten lost or confused and ended up 4,000 miles away in rural Alabama, America.

Many in the United Kingdom and in the United States are scratching their heads as to how a homing pigeon from England named Bob turned up more than 4,000 miles from his home in rural Alabama, BBC reported.

Bob was supposed to fly 400 miles to Gateshead, which was supposed to take 10 hours, but the pigeon never made it to his destination. 

Bob’s owner, Alan Todd, said he thinks his 4-year-old pigeon may have taken a wrong turn and landed on a ship.

Ultimately, he crossed the Atlantic Ocean and continued flying until he landed 4,000 miles from home in Monroeville, Alabama.

“He wouldn’t have flown all that way,” Todd told The Guardian. “He was covered in oil – it could have been an oil tanker.”

Todd was contacted by the Monroeville Animal Shelter after they said they were contacted by a man asking for help dealing with a pigeon that would not leave his home, ITV reported.

Once Bob was brought into the shelter, they checked to see if he was microchipped. The bird, worth more than $1,200, did in fact have a chip that authorities were shocked to find said Bob hailed from Gateshead, ITV reported.

"We gathered he was in a race near Guernsey and I guess he got lost and hitched a ride on a cargo ship and made it to Alabama,” Megan Bryan from the shelter told ITV.

The shelter was able to contact Todd, who was relieved to learn Bob was in safekeeping.

"He was on a Zoom call and he heard Mr. Alan's voice and as soon as he heard it he turned his head and he recognized his voice straight away and I thought that was the sweetest thing, so I think he's probably ready to go home,” Bryan told ITV.

Todd told The Guardian that he plans on flying to America to collect his precious bird, who is on the mend after his long journey. 

“They are obviously looking after him very well – when I saw him yesterday he didn’t look in a good state, but looking at him today he looks a lot better just in one day,” he said.

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