Rats Of The Sky: More Homing Pigeons Used For Smuggling Drugs



In a gradual but alarming rate more homing pigeons are being used by drug offenders.

Earlier in the week Kuwait reported the capture of a pigeon transporting nearly 200 ecstasy pills.

The pills were loaded into a bag that was strapped to the back of the carrier pigeon.

Report says the homing bird was tracked to the border, in Abdali. On noticing the strapped bag on its wings, it was punctured open and the pills spilled out.

Journalist Abdullah Fahmi confirmed to the media that Kuwait customs officials have been aware that smugglers in the area use pigeons to move drugs. However this is the first time they succeeded in catching one of the birds.

Now dubbed the rats of the sky, homing pigeons have become an asset for drug offenders.

Since the 12th century the pigeon has been known used as a carrier. Back then they were trained to deliver messages to and fro long distances.

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The ancient Greeks used the pigeons to send the results of Olympic Games from town to town.

Genghis Khan used pigeons to create a communication network across his empire.

Homing pigeons can effectively cross a distance of approximately 100 miles.

The use of this pigeon has been revived by drug peddlers in recent times.

More than once in several parts of the world pigeons and several other animals have been caught smuggling drugs.



The pigeon seems to be experienced in the smuggling business. Kuwait investigators discovered that the talented bird started its journey all the way from Iraq then into Kuwait.

The authorities carefully tracked the bird from Iraq and caught it in Kuwait. The pigeon was found above a building near Kuwait customs office.

In 2015, guards at a prison in Costa Rica captured a bird flying cocaine and cannabis over the walls of the jail.

A carrier pigeon wearing a bag containing 40g of marijuana and 5g of a paste containing cocaine has also been caught in Columbia.

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The pigeon was caught, caged and sent to an animal centre.

It is not clear what has become of the ‘criminal’ bird. For the growing trend of using the homing pigeons by drug offenders, they have been nicknamed the rats of the sky.

The first bird identified as such were the Asian bird specie, Indian myna. Melbourne market gardeners in Australia introduced the birds in the 1800s to help control insects.

Likewise they were also introduced into Queensland to control grasshoppers and the cane beetle.

However, Mr Parker, coordinator of the Pooh Corner Environment Centre says they are one of the world’s most invasive species.

“It has territorial behaviours, it competes for nests with native birds,” 

“They defecate in other bird’s nests and there’s the potential for spread of disease”

Hence the homing pigeons used by drug offenders are likened to the sky rats for being used for criminal purposes.

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