This bird has flown.
Espionage is such a big deal, nowadays, that not even the birds are escaping close scrutiny.
This seemingly fictional story takes place between India and China, close BRICS partners who are also involved in a bitter frontier feud.
It arose now that a pigeon accused of being a Chinese spy has just been cleared by police and released back into the wild, after eight months detained.
Sky News reported:
“The bird was detained by officers after it was captured in May last year near a port in Mumbai, news agency Press Trust of India reported.
It was found with two rings tied to its legs featuring words that appeared to be Chinese.
Detectives suspected the pigeon was involved in espionage and took it in, before later sending it to Mumbai’s Bai Sakarbai Dinshaw Petit Hospital for Animals.”
It’s a brutal world out there, so we can ask ourselves what kind of priority such a case can realistically have in an intelligent service.
Whatever the case, Indian authorities took their sweet time, but after eight long months in captivity, it emerged that the pigeon ‘was an open-water racing bird from Taiwan which had escaped and flown to India’.
Cool bird! Suspected spy, actual race pigeon who took a wrong turn and landed in jail.
It was then sent to the Bombay Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, where doctors finally set it free this week.
“India has also previously detained the birds over security fears. In 2020 suspicious police in Indian-controlled Kashmir captured a pigeon that belonged to a Pakistani fisherman.
An investigation found the bird was not a spy, and had simply flown across the border between the countries.
In 2016 another pigeon was detained after it was allegedly found with a note that threatened Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.”
Historically, Pigeons have often been used in spying and combat throughout history.
A pigeon called ‘Gustav the brave’ brought the first news of the D-Day landings to Britain. A war correspondent wrote a report and attached it to the bird while landing in Normandy.