Her rescuers in Devon are calling her ‘Splashes’, but to her owner in Madeira she is ‘Gloria’.
This is the extraordinary story of a racing pigeon who travelled 2,222 kms after ‘getting lost’ in a competition at sea off Porto Santo on July 4.
The “Trenton x Blue Bar” bird was found a little over a month later, in a bucket of yellow paint in Plymouth, UK.
She “was in a bit of a sorry state”, says 4th generation ‘fancier’ Julie Cotton, a member of the Plymouth Racing Pigeon Club.
Julie is now trying to get Gloria/ Splashes “back to health” and somehow find a way of returning her to owner André Andrade.
She explains it was her nieces and nephews who came up with the name ‘Splashes’, on account of how Gloria was found (see image).
Writing over Facebook, amazed owner André said: “There are some incredible things that leave us amazed by racing pigeons’ capacity to survive…”
André believes Gloria will have travelled the massive distance almost certainly by hitching a ride on a ship (or possibly series of ships).
How she ended up in the bucket of yellow paint however is not quite so obvious.
Says Julie, she is a young bird, so there is no way she could possibly find her way back, even if she was fit to fly, which Julie – who was ‘raised in pigeon clubs’ – insists that she isn’t.
If André can’t find a way of getting Gloria home, she will end up “staying locally” in Devon, we’re told, and hopefully steer clear of buckets of paint.