Indian Police Frees a Suspected Chinese Spy Pigeon After 8 Months in Bird Lockup


NEW DELHI (AP) — Indian police released a suspected Chinese spy pigeon into the wild on Tuesday after eight months in custody, news agency Press Trust of India reported.

The pigeon’s ordeal began in May when it was caught near a port in Mumbai with two rings tied to its legs with words like Chinese written on them. Police suspected it was involved in espionage and took it into their custody, later sending it to Bai Sakarbai Dinshaw Petit Hospital for Animals in Mumbai.

Eventually, it was discovered that the pigeon was an open water wading bird from Taiwan that had escaped to India. With police permission, the bird was transferred to the Bombay Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, whose doctors freed it on Tuesday.

Mumbai Police could not be contacted for comment.

This is not the first time that a bird has come under police suspicion in India.

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In 2020, police in Indian-controlled Kashmir released a Pakistani fisherman’s pigeon after investigation found the bird flying across the heavily militarized border between the nuclear-armed countries was not a spy.

In 2016, another pigeon was detained after a note threatening Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was found.

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