A homing pigeon who managed to go 4,000 miles off course and end up in Alabama is now back home in Gateshead.
Bob was a prized racing pigeon (though we’re not sure how great his sense of direction is, judging by this incident).
His owner Alan Todd was so saddened by the loss that he travelled all the way to the US to reunited with his best bird and bring him back.
Bob went missing midway through a journey from Guernsey to Gateshead, which should have taken 10 hours.
He is thought to have hitched a lift on a ship before going on his adventure across the pond.
An elderly man who found him said he would not leave him alone, so he called the Monroe County Animal Shelter.
Staff there used Bob’s bands and microchip to locate his owner Alan, all the way back in the UK.
The animal shelter posted on Facebook on July 31 that they had now had the ‘experience of a lifetime’ after his owner travelled to find them.
‘Bob enjoyed the good ole Alabama air conditioning, and continued to enjoy the endless amount of food,’ they said/
He regained his strength quickly and was treated for some mites he picked up.
And he had to go through quarantine and have tests to check he didn’t have bird flu before he could get his travel documents.
Mr Todd had to fundraise to be able to get to Alabama and bring back Bob, but his story was so popular that he had some extra to be able to donate to the shelter.
He told ITV: ‘[Bob] didn’t look very well to be truthful. Now you wouldn’t think he’d been away. He’s put his weight back on very quickly.
‘His condition’s not there yet like the rest of the racing pigeons – the water just runs off them but he was soaked, his feathers were soaked.
‘But I looked at him this morning and you can see his chest he’s looking a lot better already. Another week and you’ll not recognise him.’
The animal shelter posted on Facebook: ‘It was a joyful reunion of Bob and the shelter crew, just a wonderful sight to see him back with his owner,’ they said.
‘An owner so dedicated that he traveled 4,000 miles! How could anyone not be impressed at that mission? Many emotions traveled through the ladies.
‘At the end of the visit Mr Todd gave the shelter almost $2,000 that he raised to help us out.
,We were able to buy much needed medication, canned cat food, food bowls, and almost $500 in cleaner!
‘Thank you everyone that was very supportive in our mission to get Bob back home.
‘A few bumps, some frustration along the way.
‘This was one of the most amazing experiences to be apart of, and to see animal lovers and bird lovers from across the world unite in support. We have been blessed with new friendships from across the world.’
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