After being detained for eight months, a pigeon believed to be a “Chinese spy” was finally set free following intervention by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India.
Espionage suspicion: The initial suspicion arose due to illegible letters the officers found on the bird's wings and the two rings of copper and aluminum attached to its legs, reported the New Indian Express. Due to the writings they believed to be in the Chinese language, the officers thought the bird was a “Chinese spy.”
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No indications of “fowl” play: They sent the captured bird to the Bai Sakarbai Dinshaw Petit Hospital for Animals (BSDPHA) in Parel for investigation. The pigeon was inspected at the hospital and placed in a cage labeled as “case property.” They would later deduce that the bird was likely a racing pigeon from Taiwan that had lost its way and somehow ended up in Mumbai.
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Wrongful imprisonment: Despite the case being closed, the bird remained confined at the veterinary hospital as the police never came back for it.
Upon learning of the situation, PETA's Saloni Sakaria reached out to the police station and urged them to grant permission for the bird's release. The police agreed and provided a No Objection Certificate (NOC) to BSDPHA to release the bird.
Flight to freedom: The bird was officially released on Jan. 31 at the hospital premises during a ceremony attended by a group of animal lovers, hospital staff and local officers.
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Sakaria expressed gratitude to the hospital for taking care of the bird for the duration of its capture. Following the bird’s ordeal, PETA emphasized the fundamental rights of birds to live freely in the open sky without being confined for business or any other purposes.
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