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Pigeon winds up 5,200 miles away in Panama

Oct. 8, 2010 at 12:59 PM

PANAMA CITY, Panama, Oct. 8 (UPI) -- A British pigeon racer said one of his birds disappeared during a 6-hour race and turned up more than five weeks later 5,200 miles off course.

Darren Cubberly, 45, said he never expected to hear of 10-month-old Houdini again when she failed to turn up in Dudley, England, in a 224-mile race from Guernsey, England, but he received a phone call this month from Gustavo Ortiz of Panama City, who said the bird recently landed on his roof, The Daily Telegraph reported Friday.

Cubberly said he thinks the bird may have landed on a boat and hitched a ride toward Panama, winding up 5,200 miles from Guernsey. He said the bird had a tag with his contact information.

"I was gobsmacked. I didn't even know where Panama was," Cubberley told the Daily Mirror. "I've no idea how Houdini got there -- I can only assume she hitched a lift on a ship across the Atlantic."

Cubberly said Ortiz's family has adopted the pigeon.

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