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Fake! Joe the pigeon exposed as local bird

3AW Drive
Article image for Fake! Joe the pigeon exposed as local bird

Some stories are just too good to be true, and so it proved to be with Joe the racing pigeon.

In a saga that has involved petitions, PETA, animal experts, and even drew a statement from acting Prime Minister Michael McCormack, pigeon experts have labelled the tag that set the whole thing off as counterfeit.

It was first reported onĀ The Rumour FileĀ by ‘Not In Kansas Anymore’ who believed ‘Joe’ had escaped a pigeon race in Alabama, hitched a ride on a ship bound for Australia and then flew into his backyard in Officer.

The story then took a more sinister twist when the government claimed the pigeon posed a bio-security risk and was facing possible euthanasia.

‘Not In Kansas Anymore’ called in to the Drive program to explain what had happened.

“I was contacted today by the Melbourne Pigeon Rescue, they told me those bands are used by pigeon breeders in Melbourne, and can be purchased on the internet,” he said.

“It appears that there must be a ‘lot’ somewhere where I live, it has landed in my backyard, I have then tried to find out who owns out, and everything lead me to these conclusions that I arrived at.”

Click PLAY to hear ‘Not In Kansas Anymore’ below

Pigeon authorities confirmed that not only was Joe not from the US, he’s not even a racing pigeon.

“He’s definitely Australian,” Kirsten Mcleod, a volunteer at Pigeon Rescue Melbourne, told Heidi Murphy on 3AW Drive.

“There were a few clues straight away that we realised it definitely couldn’t be American,” she said.

“First of all he’s not even a racing pigeon… Anyone who races pigeons will know they look quite different to this.

“He’s what we call a Tumbler, he’s bred to look pretty and they perform tricks in the sky when they’re flying.”

Click PLAY to hear the interview below

3AW Drive