Police release pigeon detained for eight months for ‘being a Chinese spy’

Suspected of fowl play, the bird was intercepted by police in Mumbai with what appeared to be a message in Chinese calligraphy (Picture: Getty)

A pigeon suspected of acting as a foreign espionage agent has been released back into the wild. 

In May last year, police in Mumbai intercepted the bird with what appeared to be a message in Chinese calligraphy on two rings tied to its legs. 

After eight months in captivity at the city’s Bai Sakarbai Dinshaw Petit Hospital for Animals, it was finally determined that the pigeon was in fact a racing bird that had escaped from Taiwan. 

The exonerated fowl was then transferred to the Bombay Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, who set it free on Tuesday. 

Pigeons have a long history of being used for espionage purposes, and have even been trialed as potential candidates for active combat duties.

The most bizarre episode undoubtedly relates to a WWII-era programme developed by American behaviourist B.F. Skinner, in an attempt to create a bird-guided bombing system.

Dubbed ‘Operation Orcon’, short for ‘Operation Organic Control’, the goal of the programme was to train pigeons to sit inside missiles and effectively act as kamikaze pilots for the devices.

Pigeons have a long history of being used for military purposes – from espionage to even being trialled for active combat duties (Picture: Getty)

The guidance systems were basically made up of three lenses installed at the front of a small glider, with the pigeons then pecking at the screens in order to guide the explosive-laden aircrafts toward their targets. 

Training was conducted by putting pigeons through visual simulations, in which they were taught to expect a seed reward if they were successful at keeping crosshairs trained on images of enemy ships. 

It’s also not the only time a pigeon has emerged at the centre of an alleged espionage scandal in India. 

More Trending

Read More Stories

Back in 2015, another would-be feathered James Bond was captured at an undisclosed location near the Pakistani border, placed under armed guard and taken to a local police station.

Speaking with the Indian Times, Superintendent Rakesh Kaushal said at the time: ‘This is a rare instance of a bird from Pakistan being spotted here. We have caught a few spies here. The area is sensitive, given its proximity to Jammu, where infiltration is quite common.’

Follow Metro on WhatsApp to be the first to get all the latest news

Follow us to receive the latest news updates from Metro (Picture: Getty Images)

Metro’s on Whatsapp! Join our community for breaking news and juicy stories.

The fate of the supposed secret agent remains unknown.

Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at webnews@metro.co.uk.

For more stories like this, check our news page.

(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *