A racing pigeon from Cannock who was supposed to be flying back home from France has ended up thousands of miles away in Canada.
Percy, also known as ‘Number 12′, had been entered into a race from Fougeres in Brittany on June 9, but never made it back to Staffordshire.
Instead of flying the 303 miles to the Midlands, he turned up in Quebec, Canada, around 3072 miles from his loft.
Last Monday, more than a month after he began his race, Percy’s owner was contacted by the Royal Pigeon Racing Association (RPRA) to say he had been found and identified by a number on a leg ring.
”It came as a huge surprise, we could not believe it,” states pigeon racer Bernard Chambers, aged 75.
”We can only think that he hitched a ride on a boat or boats, he was obviously looked after by someone, we have not got any other logical explanation. I cannot see him flying 3,000 miles across the water.”
Michel Gosselin and Percy. Pic: RPRA
Mr Chambers, who keeps 150 pigeons, has been racing birds for more than 60 years and thought he had seen the last of his prize-winner.
”They do get lost quite regularly,” Mr Chambers said.
”There can be mishaps – they have got lots of things to face like peregrine falcons, bad weather and they can get blown off course.
”You do lose a few over the season. But this pigeon was one of our most consistent racers over land, and he had flown back from France at the begin of June fine.”
But Percy will not be coming home. He has been taken in by French Canadian pigeon enthusiast Michel Gosselin, who has 50 years experience of looking after them.
Mr Chambers states the RPRA has shown him pics of Percy’s new place.
”Apparently he was in quite a say when he was found,” he said.
”But he is doing much better now, and it would be too costly to get him back. Then you have got quarantine. We’re not worried as it looks like he is got a lovely loft to live in.”
Percy’s flight of fancy is only eclipsed by that of British racing pigeon Houdini, who, in 2010, should have been flying 224 miles from Guernsey to Dudley.
But instead of returning home to the West Midlands, Houdini was discovered in Panama City, a 5,200 mile trip.
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Submited at Friday, July 13th, 2012 at 12:30 pm on Odd by admin
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