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Wednesday, 25 July, 2001, 12:25 GMT 13:25 UK
Pigeon's flap of luxury
The pigeon spent 10 days on the luxury cruiser
A homing pigeon ended up in New York after getting lost during a race and landing on the QE2 cruise liner.

The bird should have flown to his loft in Cleethorpes, Lincolnshire, after being released near Plymouth.

But instead it headed about 700 miles west before fluttering to a stop on board the luxury passenger ship in the English Channel as it sailed toward the United States.

Now the bird has been re-united with its owner Ron Horrocks - after enjoying a 10-day luxury jaunt on one of the world's most sumptuous liners.

I couldn't believe it - I have never heard anything like it before

Ron Horrocks
Mr Horrocks said: "I thought he was a goner and I wouldn't see him again.

"He had been missing for almost a week when I got a call saying he was on board the QE2.

"I couldn't believe it - I have never heard anything like it before."

Mr Horrocks believes the one-year-old bird - now named "QE" - became disorientated after bad weather delayed the start of his race back to Cleethorpes.

The bird has been named after the liner
Unknown to his owner, the bird had come to a stop on board the QE2 where he was spotted strutting towards the bridge.

One of the crew noticed his leg-ring and contacted the UK Pigeon Racers' Union to say the bird was safe.

He was then settled into the quarters normally reserved for passengers' pets and fed on a diet of corn.

The crew released the bird when the ship returned to Southampton 10 days later.

Mr Horrocks said the union traced him as the owner because of the ring number - GB2000B2391.

See also:

20 Apr 01 | Europe
Police swoop on pigeon fanciers
19 Jan 01 | UK
In defence of pigeons
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