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Weekend Weirdness: Pigeon Caught Trying to Smuggle Cannabis into a Costa Rican Prison

August 16, 2015

You may not typically pay pigeons much attention outside of giving them the occasional suspicious side-glance whenever they try to surreptitiously cozy up to you and your delicious lunch crumbs, but their innate homing ability has made these seemingly nondescript birds ideal for carrying messages across large distances. Messenger pigeons date as far back as 1150 AD, and they've been used to transport items as varied as messages, unbreakable vials, and, most recently, cannabis. 

That's right, recently a pigeon was busted at a prison in Costa Rica while trying to smuggle in a pound of cocaine and cannabis that were attached to a pouch affixed to its chest. The guards caught wise to the pigeon's schemes when they noticed it was sporting a bird-sized fanny pack. Said prison director Paul Bertozzi

“They observed the bulge on the animal so they captured it and confirmed that it carried a bag with zipper — and the drugs were inside. It seems the dove was trained for it. "We have a warning that this method can be used again as it is not the first time in the history of La Reforma that a pigeon was detected with drugs."

Apparently not — it's becoming more common to see homing pigeons being used as drug mules birds because they're easy to train and have good navigation skills. There have been reports that drug runners in Afghanistan have used hundreds of pigeons to fly heroin into Pakistan, and pigeons have also been caught attempting to deliver cocaine and cannabis to Colombian prisoners

Clearly we've been overlooking yet another disenfranchised group that's fallen victim to the ongoing War on Drugs. Won't someone think of the pigeons? (Also, which strain do you think pigeons prefer to transport? My guess is Tyson since the former heavyweight champion is a noted pigeon lover.)