A racing pigeon from Alabama has survived an 8,000-mile odyssey to Australia, where it was named Joe after the president-elect – but authorities plan to kill the bird amid coronavirus fears, according to a report.
Melbourne resident Kevin Celli-Bird said he discovered the exhausted bird in his backyard on Dec. 26 after it had disappeared from a race in Oregon on Oct. 29, The Associated Press reported.
He said the Oklahoma-based American Racing Pigeon Union had confirmed that Joe was registered to an owner in Montgomery, Alabama.
Experts suspect the bold bird hitched a ride on a cargo ship to cross the Pacific, a feat that has attracted the attention of media, as well as quarantine officials, Down Under.
“They say if it is from America, then they’re concerned about bird diseases,” Celli-Bird said, adding that officials called him Thursday about Joe.
“They wanted to know if I could help them out. I said, ’To be honest, I can’t