A video is circulating around the web showing a suspicious man in New York City capturing a large group of live pigeons in a net. It is believed the man has been hauling the pigeons out of New York and into Pennsylvania, so that the animals can be killed for sport.
According to the Mirror, the bizarre and disturbing video was filmed by a Facebook user named Sarah Wagner who noticed the stranger driving off with a bag full of squirming pigeons. She uploaded the 17-second clip to her Facebook post, claiming that the man has apparently been capturing pigeons to be sold to clubs where people shoot them for entertainment.
You can watch the man abducting the pigeons in the video below.
Sarah Wagner included a caption with the video, admitting she was freaked out by how the helpless pigeons were being lured with food only to be carried off to their deaths.
“So today I was officially creeped out. I was walking in the East Village, and I saw a guy feeding a whole bunch of birds…. After a while a lot of birds came and he went in his van to grab a net and proceeded to walk to the pigeons and slammed a net over them… The birds were freaking out and he carried them in the net and put them in the back seat of his van and sped off. Everyone was like WTF!.. I video taped him though. And googled and found that he has been doing it around NYC in an illegal attempt to sell them to pigeon clubs as a shooting sport.”
The pigeons were captured in Manhattan’s East Village on Friday.
According to the Huffington Post, people have speculated that the man intends to bring the pigeons to Pennsylvania, because killing pigeons for sport is illegal in New York. However, it’s also illegal to trap pigeons in the state, unless you have a permit. So, despite the man’s efforts to move the pigeons to a place where they can be legally killed, it’s possible he may already be breaking several laws. In addition to trapping the pigeons, the man also appears to be guilty of transporting the pigeons in a cruel or inhumane manner, which can be punishable by a year in prison or a fine up to $1,000.
The Facebook video could be connected to a recent report of 300 pigeons being abducted from Washington Square Park. According to the Washington Square Park Blog, pigeons have been disappearing by the hundreds for years, typically to be shot in “cruel Pennsylvania live shoots.” An animal rights activist named Tina Trachtenberg shared a Facebook post similar to Sarah Wagner’s video, reporting on the the horrifying pigeon abductions.
“I received horrific news today. These innocent, trusting, loving, pigeons, approximately 300 of them were netted on Tuesday in Washington Square Park. The person who did this will transport them to Pennsylvania where they will have their wings clipped and be put into a mechanism that will shoot them in the air and men will shoot them for sport. These were my friends that I loved dearly. Please come to Washington Square park tomorrow for a memorial and to give love to me and all of the other people who loved them. Our hearts are crushed.”
Police are reportedly aware of the man bagging the live pigeons but have not investigated the incident yet because nobody has filed a formal complaint.
What do you think about the captured pigeons? Is it animal cruelty? And should those involved be punished by the law?
[Photos via Facebook and Spencer Platt/Getty Images]