Pigeon suspected to be Chinese spy released by Indian police after 8 months

It was released on Jan. 31.

Alfie Kwa | February 03, 2024, 05:20 PM



A pigeon suspected of spying for China was released on Jan. 31, said PETA India in a press release on Feb. 1.

The bird was held at the Bai Sakarbai Dinshaw Petit Hospital for Animals (BSDPHA) in Parel, a neighbourhood of Mumbai, India, as case property for eight months.

Why was the bird taken in?

In May 2023, the Rashtriya Chemicals and Fertilisers (RCF) Police Station found a pigeon with green and red "illegible" writing on its wings which was "suspected to be Chinese", the Hindustan Times reported.

Image via PETA India.

The police handed it over to the hospital for a medical test and two rings on its leg were sent for a forensic examination to find out if the bird was spying on Indian territory.

PETA fought for its release

According to CBS, BSDPHA asked police if they could release the bird as it was healthy and was occupying space at the facility.

After failing to receive an appropriate response, PETA India intervened by reaching out to the police.

"Following successful persuasion, the police promptly granted a no-objection certificate to the hospital, allowing for the bird’s release," the animal welfare organisation said.

The bird was released on Jan. 31.

Not the first instance

This is not the first time the Indian police have taken pigeons into custody.

According to AP News, police in Indian-controlled Kashmir freed a pigeon belonging to a Pakistani fisherman after determining that the bird, which had flown across the heavily militarised border was not a spy in 2020.

In 2016, another pigeon found near the border with Pakistan was taken into custody after it was found with a note threatening Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Top image via Unsplash.