A pigeon has been released by police in India after being detained eight months earlier on suspicion of being a Chinese spy.

The pigeon was detained by police in Mumbai after it was found in May with two rings on its legs bearing Chinese script, and one of the rings was found to contain a microchip, UPI news reports.

Detectives had the pigeon held at the Bai Sakarbai Dinshaw Petit Hospital for Animals on suspicion of being involved in espionage on behalf of China.

The pigeon was turned over to the Bombay Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and set free on Tuesday.

The police investigation determined the pigeon was not a Chinese spy, but instead had been involved in open-water racing in Taiwan and wandered off course, ending up in India.

The pigeon’s release was welcomed by animal rights group PETA India, which had campaigned for the bird to be freed.


“PETA India handles 1,000 calls a week of animal emergencies, but this was our first case of a suspected spy who needed to be freed,” Meet Ashar, head of the group’s cruelty response division, said in a statement provided to The New York Times.

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