Why would anyone try to smuggle homing pigeons to Norway? (Photo: Norwegian Customs)
Last week, Norwegian customs officials at the Svinesund border crossing between Norway and Sweden found 11 pigeons in a van. The birds were handed over to the Norwegian Food Safety Authority and are now euthanized.
– It is not very often we find live birds, says Senior Inspector Kathrine Berem at the Norwegian Customs at Svinesund to NRK.no.
The van was stopped last week and when the customs officials opened the rear doors on the Bulgarian registered van they found the 11 flying messengers.
The passenger, who was from Romania, could tell that he was on his way to the city of Ålesund in Western Norway. The pigeons were ringed and documented that they were not Norwegian.
The officials also found 153 kilograms (337 pounds) of meat products, 248 liters (66 gallons) of beer, 8.5 liters (2.3 gallons) of wine and 4.5 liters (1.2 gallons) of spirits.
The homing pigeons’ ability to orient themselves have fascinated and puzzled humans for a long time. It has been put forward many theories and conducted many practical experiments, but it is still one of nature’s unsolved mysteries how it finds its way back home. U.S. researchers from North Carolina believe they have found small magnetic particles in their beaks, and have presented a theory that the homing pigeon functions as a flying compass.
Another unsolved mystery is why anyone would smuggle pigeons to Norway (!). With the exception of garlic, rice and diapers – everything else is very much cheaper to purchase in neighboring EU countries.
Text by: Thor Lanesskog, ThorNews
Sources: Norwegian Customs, NRK