‘Spy’ Pigeon Held for Eight Months Is Released After PETA India Intervenes

For Immediate Release:
February 1, 2024

David Perle 202-483-7382

Mumbai, India – A pigeon who was detained in a veterinary hospital in India for eight months on suspicion of being used for spying is flying free once more, thanks to help from PETA India.

Colonel Dr. BB Kulkarni, chief medical superintendent of the BSDPHA, releases the pigeon.

Colonel Dr. BB Kulkarni, chief medical superintendent of the BSDPHA, releases the pigeon. Credit: PETA India

The group learned that in May 2023, police had found the pigeon with an illegible message written on her wings. Suspecting espionage, police seized the bird and sent her to be examined at the Bai Sakarbai Dinshaw Petit Hospital for Animals (BSDPHA) in Mumbai. After months had gone by, the hospital asked police for permission to release the healthy pigeon, to no avail—so PETA India intervened, contacted police, and obtained the certificate needed for her release. On January 30, the BSDPHA’s superintendent released the pigeon. Photographs and video of the bird’s release are available here.

“Like all birds, pigeons should be free to soar in the skies, forage for food, and raise their young as a couple, cooperatively with their mates,” says PETA India Director Poorva Joshipura. “PETA India is grateful to the veterinary hospital for caring for this pigeon for so many months and working to get her on her way back home.”

PETA notes that pigeons have their own culture, mate for life, dote on their young, and pass the “mirror test,” demonstrating self-awareness and intelligence. But around the world, these remarkable birds are denigrated as “pests” and even used for racing, an industry in which they face mass suffering and death, as PETA’s pigeon racing investigations reveal.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment or abuse in any other way”—points out that Every Animal Is Someone and offers free Empathy Kits for people who need a lesson in kindness. For more information, please visit PETA.org or follow the group on X (formerly Twitter), Facebook, or Instagram.


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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

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