A pigeon’s life has been spared after an ankle tag showing that he’d illegally flown to Australia from the United States turned out to be a fake. The bird, who was affectionately nicknamed “Joe” after the president-elect, was given a death sentence by Australian authorities because his suspected super-avian trip across the Pacific Ocean would have been in breach of quarantine rules. The bird’s tag made it appear as if Joe was registered to an owner in Alabama and raced in Oregon—but it now appears that he was framed. Australia’s environment department announced Friday: “The department is satisfied that the bird’s leg band is a fraudulent copy of a legitimate leg band.” The statement went on to say Joe is “highly likely to be Australian” and presents no “biosecurity risk.” It’s not clear who attached the tag to Joe, or for what possible reason, but no further action will be taken against the local bird.
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