A pigeon has flown from Japan to Canada, meaning that it traveled for over 5,000 miles across the Pacific ocean.
The one-year-old racing part was released to take part in its first ever Japanese pigeon race. It started in the Japanese province of Hokkaido, alongside 8,000 other birds on May 10, but was only located last week where it was found in Canada’s Vancouver Island.
Rescuers who located the exhausted and starving pigeon then contacted its owner, who lived near Sapporo, as there was a tag on the bird’s leg.
Maj Birch, the founder of the Mountaineer Avian Rescue Society, told ABC News, “When they’re flying around they become dehydrated and weakened,” explaining how it was able to make the huge trip.
She added, “He may have landed on ships where there was no food, maybe rode on the sup until he felt like he could fly some more.”
Only 20 percent of the pigeons that started the race, the bird had originally begun were able to finish, and it was actually the pigeon’s mother who won.
This trans-pacific pigeon’s effort was even more astounding because pigeons usually only have a range of around 400 miles.
Hiroyasu Takasu, the pigeon’s owner, who owns around 100 birds in Ibaraki Prefecture, told ABC he was shocked that the bird was still alive, stating, “This is a superior pigeon. I was so relieved he was found alive. Birds usually reach their limit in a week, with no food or water.”
However, he has asked that the bird not be returned home as he fears that any further travel would prove too much for the pigeon. He was still remarkably impressed with his achievements though.
Takasu revealed why he didn’t have a name for the bird, stating, “We did not even have a name for this one, because we only give names to birds that return home.”
[Image via Andreas Trepte/Wikimedia Commons]