Pigeon Thought to Come From US Is Spared Death After Australian Officials Determine It's Likely a Native | Inside Edition

Pigeon Thought to Come From US Is Spared Death After Australian Officials Determine It's Likely a Native

The whole debacle started when Kevin Celli-Bird saw a pigeon flying around his home in Melbourne, Australia. 

A case of mistaken identity almost got one pigeon killed.

The whole debacle started when Kevin Celli-Bird saw a pigeon flying around his home in Melbourne, Australia

"And it was pretty emaciated, so I crushed up some biscuits, gave it some dried biscuits and then we went about our way," Celli-Bird said. "And the next day he was back, or it was back, had another drink, walked around the yard and so on and I actually thought, 'Well, it belongs to someone.'"

He noticed that the pigeon was tagged. Celli-Bird was able to take down the information on the band and did some research. 

"So I Googled it, and it showed up that it's a American Racing Pigeon Union and it's registered to someone in Montgomery, Alabama," he said. "My wife named him Joe. She was going to call him Donald but we thought that might not be politically correct."

Many began to wonder, how could a bird possibly fly more than 8,000 miles from the U.S. to Australia? Authorities said that if the bird in fact did travel that far, it was in violation of the country's strict quarantine standards for animals and it posed a biohazard risk. 

The Deputy Prime Minister gave the animal an ultimatum. 

"But 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," Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack said. 

The threat alarmed animal lovers and prompted Australia's Department of Agriculture to investigate further. 

Officials have determined that the blue racing band is a fake and that the bird is likely native to Australia after all. 

It was a close call for Joe, who is now a free bird. 

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