After 8 Months, Cops Release This Suspicious Bird

Pigeon caught in May near port in Mumbai, India, had been suspected of spying for China
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 2, 2024 12:02 PM CST
Cops Release Suspicious Bird: OK, You're Not a Spy
A pigeon that was captured near a port after being suspected to be a Chinese spy is released at a vet hospital in Mumbai, India, on Tuesday.   (Anshuman Poyrekar/Hindustan Times via AP)

Indian police cleared a suspected Chinese spy pigeon after eight months' detention and released it into the wild Tuesday, reports the news agency Press Trust of India. The pigeon's ordeal began in May when it was captured near a port in Mumbai with two rings tied to its legs, carrying words that looked Chinese, per the AP. Police suspected the bird was involved in espionage and took it in, later sending it to Mumbai's Bai Sakarbai Dinshaw Petit Hospital for Animals.

Eventually, it turned out the pigeon was an open-water racing bird from Taiwan that had escaped and made its way to India. With police permission, the bird was transferred to the Bombay Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, whose doctors set it free on Tuesday. Mumbai police couldn't be reached for comment.

It's not the first time a bird has come under police suspicion in India. In 2020, police in Indian-controlled Kashmir released a pigeon belonging to a Pakistani fisherman after a probe found that the bird, which had flown across the heavily militarized border between the nuclear-armed nations, wasn't a spy. In 2016, another pigeon was taken into custody after it was found with a note that threatened Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

(More weird crimes stories.)

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