A pigeon has been reunited with his owner after getting more than he bargained for when he ended up in Alabama - but he was meant to go to Gateshead.
Bob the homing pigeon set off from Guernsey and his owner expected him home within eight to 10 hours - but when he didn't come home there was a lot of confusion and concern.
Weeks later, owner Alan Todd received an email to tell him that Bob was thousands of miles away in an animal shelter and he'd been getting up to some cheeky antics.
Bob had been overstaying his welcome in a man's house and shelter staff had checked his microchip and were shocked to learn he was from the UK.
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It is thought that Bob may have caught a lift on a cruise liner or an oil tanker to arrive, 4,300 miles away from home, in Alabama, rather than flying back home.
Alan said he began to fear the worst, thinking he may have been killed, describing him as looking 'down in the dumps' when he saw a photo.
Alan began a fundraiser to reunite himself with his beloved pigeon, and as a result he was even flown to America first class for free.
When he was in America he had to pay a $470 vet bill, but the rest of his expenses were covered by organisations that wanted to help see the pair back together again.
Alan said that it was a small price to pay to get Bob back where he belongs.
The remaining $2,000 he had raised was donated to Monroe County Animal Shelter.
Bob had to go through quarantine and various tests to make sure he wasn't carrying Avian Flu back to the UK, and he received his import license from APHA.
Since Bob has arrived back in the UK, Alan has been doing all he can to ensure his pal is back to normal.
Alan said: "He didn’t look very well to be truthful. Now you wouldn’t think he’d been away because he’s put his weight back on very quickly.
“The first thing I did was put a bath on for the pigeons and he was the first one in the bath.
“I looked at him this morning and you can see his chest he’s looking a lot better already. Another week and you’ll not recognise him.”
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