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article imageJapanese racing pigeon flies from Hokkaido, Japan, to BC, Canada

By Igor I. Solar     Jun 25, 2013 in Odd News
Comox - A racing pigeon crossed the Pacific Ocean, flying from Japan to Vancouver Island in British Columbia, a distance of nearly 8,000 kilometers. The pigeon is recovering in Courtenay, BC, and will be assigned to breed long-distance racers.
Apparently, the pigeon was diverted from its route, possibly hit by a storm, and flew across the Pacific. The bird came to Vancouver Island and was found at the Canadian Forces Base “CFB Comox” located 5 km northeast of Comox, British Columbia. Since the maximum flight range of a pigeon is close to 650 km, it’s assumed that the bird would have stopped to rest and sleep on cargo ships sailing along the extensive route.
The pigeon was tired, very thin and affected by a common parasite. He was taken to the Mountainaire Avian Rescue Society (MARS), a rescue center for birds in Comox, BC, where he was fed and nursed back to health.
The pigeon was carrying identification of his original owner consisting of a telephone number in Japan. The owner of the pigeon, Hiroyasu Takasu, 73, of Ishioka (Ibaraki Prefecture), was contacted and informed about his pigeon being in Canada. Takasu reported that the one-year-old bird was among 8,000 racing pigeons released on May 9 in Haboro, Hokkaido, in northern Japan, for a 1,000-kilometer race. Takasu chose not to request the return of his pigeon considering the cost involved.
According to FoxNews, Canadian Authorities asked MARS for the bird’s travel documents and were not sure if they could allow the pigeon in Canada without proper documentation.
"They asked us whether he had travel documents and so on, and we said, 'No, he flew here on his own,' and so they labeled it a ‘migratory bird’, which allowed us to hand it over, without (having to fill out) a bunch of Customs paperwork, to the local pigeon racing society, which offered to give it a new home," said Reg Westcott of MARS.
The local Pigeon Society has taken steps to adopt the bird, hoping to mate it with Canadian female pigeons and obtain offspring which are expected to inherit the exceptional long-range flying trait of the Japanese progenitor.
More about Racing pigeon, Hokkaido Japan, Vancouver island, Comox, British columbia
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