India Releases a Pigeon That Was Allegedly Spying for China

( – After an eight-month investigation, India has cleared a suspected Chinese spy. The alleged communist agent has now been released and is free to get on with their life. The remarkable thing about this story is that the spying suspect is a pigeon.

Last May, police in the Indian city of Mumbai captured a pigeon. They were curious about why the bird had two rings on its legs, and that curiosity turned to alarm when one of the rings was found to contain a message written in Chinese script. The world’s two most populous nations aren’t the best of friends. China is the main weapons supplier to India’s rival Pakistan, and there have also been violent clashes along disputed border areas between the countries. In 2020, around 20 Indian soldiers were killed by Chinese troops in the Kashmir region.

Chinese spies are a threat India takes seriously. Of course, most suspected Chinese spies are humans. Detaining a pigeon was more of a challenge for cops, and they ended up sending the feathered suspect to an animal hospital while they investigated its background.

Now the pigeon’s secrets have been uncovered, and it turns out it isn’t a communist infiltrator at all. In fact, it’s a Taiwanese racing pigeon. Although Taiwan uses Chinese characters and the Mandarin language, it’s not part of China and isn’t a potential enemy of India. With its pro-democracy credentials established, the bird was released on January 30. It’s unknown if it plans to make the epic 3,000-mile flight home or if it will stay in India.

Although the idea of a spy pigeon sounds absurd, there’s actually a long history of soldiers and agents using trained birds to send messages. In World War II, US Army messenger GI Joe was awarded the British Dickin Medal for gallantry in a ceremony held at the Tower of London after he flew 20 miles in 20 minutes carrying a vital message that saved 100 British and American troops from being attacked by US bombers. Pigeons are a common sight, but some of them might have secrets.

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