'Invincible' stowaway pigeon's tragic trip to the Channel Islands
A SEEMINGLY invincible pigeon which was hit by a car and survived more than 24 hours – and 150 miles – under the bonnet has been put to sleep by a Guernsey vet.
The bird’s epic but ultimately tragic adventure began when it was struck by Martin Stacey’s vehicle on a road in Gloucestershire while he was on his way to the island.
Despite being injured and undoubtedly mentally traumatised to find itself under a car bonnet, the plucky pigeon successfully evaded Customs officials during a border check and saw out a crossing on the Commodore Clipper.
Describing the story of the unusual stowaway, Mr Stacey said: ‘I was coming down a country road travelling about 50 to 55mph and I could see this low-hanging branch in the distance.
‘As I got closer I noticed a pigeon in it and as I met the branch it quite suddenly dropped out of the tree and I hit it.
‘There were feathers and I thought I must have killed it.’
Mr Stacey continued on to his overnight stop in Southampton before making his way to the Portsmouth ferry early the following day.
‘I arrived at the terminal and Customs did a routine check on my car. I opened the boot and bonnet and explained I had hit a pigeon the day before.
‘The officers shone their torch around, found nothing and sent me on my way,’ he said.
‘I then had the car on the ferry for eight or so hours before arriving in Guernsey and going out for a bite to eat with family.’
The next morning Mr Stacey visited his daughter and when he returned to his car he found a note on the windscreen.
‘Someone had a left a note after maybe hearing or seeing the pigeon making some commotion to tell me I had a bird under my bonnet.
‘Sure enough, me and my daughter could see it but couldn’t see a way out for it either.’
They took the car to a garage and staff managed to free the bird.
‘I was very surprised it hadn’t been cut to pieces coming through the plastic grill, which was partly smashed,’ added Mr Stacey.
The bird showed no desire to fly away and staff from the GSPCA were called.
Although the persevering pigeon survived the 150-mile ordeal without food or water for nearly two days, it was left badly shaken by the incident, and a vet decided the best course of action was to put the bird down.
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