British Homing Pigeon Accidentally Travels to Alabama

Bob the champion bird is currently being cared for at the Monroe County Animal Shelter. 

Bob Homing Pigeon
Photo: Monroe County Alabama Animal Shelter

A homing pigeon named Bob took more than a few wrong turns last month, and now an animal shelter is working to get him home.

Monroe County Animal Shelter shared on Facebook that they are trying to reunite the four-year-old pigeon—who accidentally traveled 4,000 miles from its home in Gateshead, England, to Mexia, Alabama—with his owner across the pond.

The Monroeville shelter learned of the wayward bird when an "elderly gentleman" sought help with a pigeon that showed up at his home and wouldn't leave. The shelter sent a staff member to catch the bird and bring it back to the rescue where they used a number on its leg to track down its owner, Alan Todd.

"We are currently working on a game plan to return this champion pigeon to its owner, who was extremely happy to hear from us," the shelter wrote on Facebook. "We also did a quick stop by Airport Animal Clinic to see Dr. Compton. Other than being underweight from its travel, it looks pretty good."

Todd told BBC that three weeks before he turned up in Alabama, Bob got lost during a "fairly routine" 10-hour journey home from the Channel Islands. The puzzled owner believes Bob got disoriented and hitched a ride on a ship across the Atlantic.

"He wouldn't have flown all that way," Todd said. "He was covered in oil—it could have been an oil tanker."

Monroe County Animal Shelter is taking good care of Bob while Todd figures out how to get him back home. He's set up a GoFundMe account to help with the expenses.

In the meantime, Bob and Todd have been staying connected via video chat.

"They are obviously looking after him very well," he told BBC.

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