Celli-Bird said quarantine authorities called him Thursday to ask him to catch the bird.
“They say when it comes to America, they worry about bird diseases,” he said. ‘They wanted to know if I could help them. I said, ‘To be honest, I can not catch it. I can get within 500 miles (millimeters) of it and then it moves’. ”
He said quarantine authorities are now considering concluding a contract with a professional bird catcher.
The Department of Agriculture, which is responsible for biosecurity, said the pigeon was “not allowed to stay in Australia” because it could “jeopardize the food security of Australia and our wild bird populations.”
“It poses an immediate biosecurity risk to Australian bird life and our poultry industry,” the department said in a statement.
In 2015, the government threatened to euthanize two Yorkshire terriers, Pistol and Boo, after they were smuggled into the country by Hollywood star Johnny Depp and his ex-wife Amber Heard.
Faced with a 50-hour deadline to leave Australia, the dogs made it out in a chartered jet.
Pigeons are an unusual sight in the backyard of Celli-Bird in the suburban Officer, where Australian native pigeons occur much more frequently.
‘It shocked at our place on Boxing Day. I have a fountain in the backyard and it had a drink and a wash. “He was so nice that I threw a dry biscuit on and left it in front of him,” said Celli-Bird.
‘The next day he was shaking again at our water feature, so I ran to see him because he was pretty weak and he didn’t seem so scared of me and I saw that he had a blue band on his leg. Of course he belongs to someone, so I managed to catch him, ‘he added.
Celli-Bird, who says he has no interest in birds “except for my last name”, said he could no longer catch the pigeon with his bare hands because he had his power back.
He said the American Racing Pigeon Union in Oklahoma had confirmed that Joe was registered with an owner in Montgomery, Alabama.
Celli-Bird said he had tried to contact the owner but so far could not get through.
The bird spends every day in the backyard, sometimes sitting with a native pigeon on a pergola. Celli-Bird has given the pigeon food from within days of his arrival.
“I think he just decided that because I gave him some food and he has a place to drink that is home,” he said.
Australian Secretary of the National Pigeon Association Brad Turner said he had heard of cases of Chinese racing pigeons reaching the west coast of Australia aboard cargo ships, a much shorter voyage.
Turner said there were real fears that pigeons from the United States could carry exotic diseases and he agreed that Joe would be destroyed.
“Although it sounds harsh to the normal person – they would hear that and go, ‘this is cruel,’ and everything else – I would think you would find that AQIS and that kind of people would wholeheartedly support the idea. , ”Said Turner, referring to the quarantine service.
It is claimed that the largest long-distance flight recorded by a pigeon is one that began at Arras in France and ended in Saigon, Vietnam, back in 1931, according to pigeonpedia.com. The distance was 11,600 kilometers and lasted 24 days.
There are some known cases of long-distance flights, but whether these one-offs were performed by the marathon runners of the deaf world as it are performances that can be achieved by the average pigeon is not known.