India has captured a pigeon suspected of being a spy for Pakistan. Yes. You read that right.
Indian authorities claimed the wily bird was carrying a “coded message” and was caught by villagers in Manyari, along the border separating India and Pakistan-controlled parts of Kashmir.
It’s not yet clear what message the pigeon was holding, but security agencies are trying to figure that out, according to Indian news agency PTI.
“A ring was seen attached to one of its legs with some numbers on it and a probe is on,” Kathua Police Supt. Shailendra Mishra said.
A Pakistani villager near the border reportedly said that he owned the pigeon and urged its return.
Villagers gave the pigeon to police after it flew into a house. Mishra admitted “we can’t say it was used for spying,” for sure, noting people tie number tags on pigeons to claim ownership. There is a history of birds being used for espionage in the area.
The report said in 2016, police in Pathankot, in India’s Punjab state, took in a bird that was found near Pakistan’s border which had a note attached to it with an alleged threat to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
In 2015, a bird was captured a few miles from the border after being seen carrying a “stamped message” on its body, according to local reports.