Breakfast reporter Wilson Longhurst tried his best to report the unusual story of a pigeon arrested in India on suspicion of spying, but he couldn’t quite hold it together today.

The Times of India reports the bird was captured around the time of the Eid festival by villagers along the border of Pakistan and India in Jammu and Kashmir.

They handed the bird, which had been painted pink and carried a numbered band around its leg, to police, on suspicion of spying.

Police were concerned that the numbers could be a “coded message”, officials told the Times of India, and an investigation was launched.

As Longhurst reported the story on Breakfast, he did his best to remain solemn, but lost it as he reported that the owner of the pigeon in neighbouring Pakistan has appealed for the bird’s release, saying the number on it’s leg is simply his phone number.

The villager told Pakistan’s Dawn newspaper that he owns more than a dozen pigeons, that they are a “symbol of peace” and that India should “refrain from victimising innocent birds”.

And it’s not the first time – Indian authorities caught a bird in 2015 that was found to have a message written on its wings in Urdu, and in 2016 a bird was found carrying a note allegedly threatening Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.


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