A pigeon that is reported to have crossed the Pacific Ocean from the US and reached Australia might have to be caught and euthanized, officials say.
Officials argued that the bird poses a threat to Australia’s native bird population and poultry industry.
“Regardless of its origin, any domesticated bird that has not met import health status and testing requirements is not permitted to remain in Australia… The only possible outcome to manage the biosecurity risk is humane destruction of the bird,” a spokesperson for the department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment said in a statement.
Officials also said that the bird could not have flown the 8,000-mile journey to Australia and is likely to have hitched a ride on a cargo vessel.
The pigeon was first spotted in the back garden of Melbourne resident Kevin Celli-Bird on December 26. Pigeons were not a common sight for Mr Celli-Bird, and his back garden usually saw the Australian native doves.
Mr Celli-Bird after doing some internet research discovered that the bird was last seen during a pigeon race in the US state of Oregon two months ago and was owned by an Alabama resident.
After the Pacific Ocean-crossing Pigeon made headlines Australian officials contacted Mr Celli-Bird concerned about the risk of infection and instructed him to catch the bird.