In a rare feat of feathered flight, a racing pigeon from Japan has managed to somehow traverse the entire Pacific Ocean and wind up on the west coast of Canada.  Sadly, the pigeon’s original owner wasn’t willing to pay to have the brave bird brought back, but things have ended up working out well for the little guy.

According to an AFP interview with Reg Westcott of the Mountainaire Avian Rescue Society on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, the bird may have been thrown off course by violent weather and wound up heading over 7,000 km to Canada. Over the course of the two or three week journey it must have used cargo ships to rest on.

The pigeon was discovered on the grounds of the Royal Canadian Air Force looking exhausted and gaunt from its trip, and after being treated was put in the custody of Mr. Westcott’s Society.

Being a racing pigeon, this bird came with a leg band attached bearing the phone number of its owner in Japan. The Society contacted the person but they were reluctant to pay for its unexpectedly expensive return delivery.

Frequent RocketNews24 readers may recall that in Japan it’s possible for pigeons to be sent by courier, but it Canada there doesn’t seem to be such a service, and after a quick look online it would seem that UPS and FedEx Canada have no-animal policies. Canada Post does allow some animals to be delivered, but no warm-blooded ones. Interestingly enough parasites are okay under the right circumstances.

There are likely some smaller companies there who cater to pigeon enthusiasts, but they probably don’t operate internationally. In this case, the owner would have to have the bird flown over on a commercial flight which between Canada and Japan can get rather steep.

Anyway, although the plucky pigeon was shunned by his previous owner he was eagerly taken in by a nearby pigeon racing association. They hope to breed him and produce offspring well-suited for long distance racing.

So, after surviving his long ordeal, this little pigeon may now live out the rest of his days getting it on with exotic foreign female pigeons. Endings don’t get much happier than that.

Source: Yahoo! Japan News via Itai News (Japanese)
Images: Wikipedia – Alexander Gamauf, Miika Silfverberg, Amazon – 1, 2