A Guy in Switzerland Sent a Pigeon on a Kamikaze Mission to Kill a Falcon - Atlas Obscura
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A Guy in Switzerland Sent a Pigeon on a Kamikaze Mission to Kill a Falcon

He now could go to jail.

The weapon of choice.

The weapon of choice. (Photo: Alan D. Wilson/CC BY-SA 2.5)

Have you ever been so angry about something that you smeared illegal pesticides on one of your pet pigeons and released it to be eaten by a peregrine falcon?

A 45-year-old man from Zurich, Switzerland was recently convicted of just such a crime, the Local reports. The enthusiast keeps about 200 birds, and participates in local pigeon airtime contests, where he tests his charges to see how long they’ll stay up without landing. These contests, and other flights, are occasionally interrupted when hungry falcons snatch the pigeons out of the air.

In August 2015, the fed-up man sent one of his pigeons on a suicide mission, covering it with poison, releasing it, and refusing to let it come back inside. The falcon that ate it died an “agonizing death,” the Local writes.

Peregrine falcons are endangered in Switzerland, and birds rights activists have been trying to puzzle out who is behind a recent spate of poisonings. “With peregrines, which reproduce very slowly, it is a huge problem,” Christa Glauser, deputy CEO of Bird Life Schweiz, told the Local back in April. “In some regions the population has been reduced by 50 percent.”

The pigeon Godfather confessed earlier this year, and was convicted yesterday, despite arguments by his lawyer that he had simply “lost all sense of proportion.” He will be sentenced at a later date—the prosecution is asking for 11 months—after which he will presumably return home with his head tucked under his wing.

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