Racing pigeon takes wrong turn and ends up 4,000 miles away from UK home

A racing pigeon called Bob took a wrong turn and ended up 4,000 miles from home in America after getting lost racing back to Tyneside.

Bob set off from Guernsey in the Channel Islands three weeks ago and was supposed to race back to his home in the north east of England.

The journey should have taken around 10 hours, but Bob went missing.

Until an elderly man found him in his garden in Mexia, Monroe County, Alabama, USA.

He said it “would not leave” so called Monroe County Alabama Animal Shelter, they used the bird’s bands and microchip to find the astonished owner, back in the UK.

A spokesman for the charity said: “He is doing good. Enjoying his food for sure.”

They added: “We had a elderly gentleman ask us for help.

“He had a pigeon with bands show up at his Mexia home.

“The pigeon would not leave he decided to seek help.

“Crew member Monica Leigh Morris followed the man to his home and was able to safely catch this beautiful bird.

“After arriving back at the shelter both Monica and another crew member Megan Bryan started working on tracking down the owner.

“They were able to get the numbers off the band, but also used our microchip scanner to help track down a webpage called North of England Homing Union.

“The ladies follow the instructions and were immediately contacted back by the owner – 4,000 miles away in North East of England!

Bob is worth around £1,000 and his owner Alan Todd, from Winlaton, Gateshead – who has been reunited with Bob by webcam – said: “He wouldn’t have flown all that way, I think he has probably jumped on to a ship.

“He was covered in oil – it could have been an oil tanker.

“They are obviously looking after him very well – when I saw him yesterday he didn’t look in a good state, but looking at him today he looks a lot better just in one day.”

Bob has been checked by a vet and gained weight after being cared for by the shelter

Owner Alan is now arranging to travel to the US to return Bob to the UK.