A racing pigeon from Alabama named Joe is about to be euthanised by the Australian government because it poses a quarantine risk, apparently. That’s after it somehow made the 13,000 km journey across the Pacific Ocean to be here.
Joe had flown off during a race in Oregon, and is believed to have hitched a ride on a cargo ship to Melbourne, where he turned up in the garden of Kevin Celli-Bird (that’s his real name) on Boxing Day.
“It looked a bit weak and fairly emaciated, so I crushed up a dry biscuit and it had a nibble and wandered off,” he told the Herald Sun at the time.
After a check with the local racing pigeon society turned up nothing, Celli-Bird decided to Google the pigeon’s ID, which brought up its owner in sweet home Alabama.
There's been a shock twist in the story of Joe the wayward racing pigeon. Who found his way from Alabama to Melbourne after getting lost during a race. The Federal Agriculture Department has told the man who found him, the pigeon will have to be euthanised. #7NEWS pic.twitter.com/JEJniOUgtx
— 7NEWS Melbourne (@7NewsMelbourne) January 14, 2021
As for the pigeon’s motives for fleeing to the other side of the world: “Perhaps he was sick of Trump and decided to leave.”
That’s why Celli-Bird named the pigeon after the US President-elect, one Joseph R. Biden.
Then the pigeon police showed up.
A spokesperson for the Department of Agriculture told the Associated Press that Joe wasn’t “permitted to remain in Australia” because he “could compromise Australia’s food security and our wild bird populations.”
Just a reminder that Pistol and Boo are, from all accounts, alive, well fed and living contented lives in Hollywood splendour.
— Harry Chemay (@HarryChemay) January 14, 2021
But first they actually have to catch the damn bird.
So far, Celli-Bird has had no luck even getting near Joe, who has apparently regained his strength in recent days.
The department is now looking at bringing in a professional bird catcher.
We all know the government doesn’t fuck around when it comes to animals posing biosecurity risks.
But unlike Pistol and Boo, who were lucky enough to be whisked off on Johnny Depp‘s private jet before the government could kill them, Joe the pigeon has no famous benefactor to save him.
What a sad day to be a pigeon.
Let us all murmur a solemn “coo, coo” and “yee-haw” in his honour.