Authorities have confirmed they are “exploring options” which could help save the life of a pigeon who made headlines this week after reportedly travelling from Alabama to Melbourne.
The bird, who is named Joe, was found in a backyard in Melbourne’s south eastern suburbs. It was then discovered to be a ‘racing pigeon’ from Alabama who had seemed to drift off course during competition.
After the story made the news, the government pointed out the bird was a biosecurity risk and authorities planned to euthanise him. It caused outrage not just in Australia, but across the globe.
Now, the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment have released a statement, saying there is still a possibility Joe could come out of this alive.
“Following widespread offers of support, the department is exploring options to assess and manage the biosecurity risks,” the statement reads.
“This may include the re-export of the pigeon to the US, which would require the agreement of the relevant US authorities.
“The department has sought to immediately isolate and assess the bird and is seeking the urgent cooperation of the member of the public who discovered the pigeon.
“That assessment is essential to confirm the facts of this incident and determine the risks posed to Australian bird life.”
There were also questions over whether the tag Joe sports on his left leg, which helped identify him as a racing pigeon, is actually authentic.
The American Racing Pigeon Union has claimed it is a counterfeit and if so, Joe could actually be an Australian bird and therefore poses no threat to our country. The Australian Government have said they are also looking into this claim.