Via the BBC:  ‘Narco-pigeon’ shot by Argentina police

Police in Argentina have shot a carrier pigeon that was delivering drugs to a jail, prison authorities say.

I have to admit, this is a new one to me.  I am aware of numerous types of narco-subs, human mules, and catapults used to deliver drugs, among other mechanisms.  Pigeons, however, I had not yet noticed.

Apparently, they are not new:

The Argentine prisons service had warned in 2013 that traffickers were using pigeons making between 10 and 15 trips a day.

Three people were arrested and 15 pigeons were seized after the 2013 investigation, Clarín said.

Earlier this year a pigeon carrying a backpack containing 178 pills of the drug ketamine was apprehended in the Gulf state Kuwait near the border with Iraq.

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Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter


  1. Mikey says:

    GUARD #1: You’re using coconuts!
    ARTHUR: What?
    GUARD #1: You’ve got two empty halves of coconut and you’re bangin’
    ’em together.
    ARTHUR: So? We have ridden since the snows of winter covered this
    land, through the kingdom of Mercia, through–
    GUARD #1: Where’d you get the coconut?
    ARTHUR: We found them.
    GUARD #1: Found them? In Mercia? The coconut’s tropical!
    ARTHUR: What do you mean?
    GUARD #1: Well, this is a temperate zone.
    ARTHUR: The swallow may fly south with the sun or the house martin
    or the plover may seek warmer climes in winter, yet these are not
    strangers to our land.
    GUARD #1: Are you suggesting coconuts migrate?
    ARTHUR: Not at all, they could be carried.
    GUARD #1: What — a swallow carrying a coconut?
    ARTHUR: It could grip it by the husk!
    GUARD #1: It’s not a question of where he grips it! It’s a simple
    question of weight ratios! A five ounce bird could not carry a 1 pound

  2. Franklin says:

    What did the pigeon do to deserve getting shot?

    Second, I guess the alternative is to have drones scare the pigeons away from their intended destination?

  3. Mr. Prosser says:

    @Franklin: Cheaper to use real falcons except they would probably ingest the drugs. Nothing like a high, high-flying falcon.

  4. JohnMcC says:

    A question: Don’t homing pigeons have to be trained to return to their roosts? I’m not going to study homing pigeons for this (altho that might be interesting) but I’m pretty sure I’ve seen the occasional documentary on competitive pigeon racing and those birds are carried off daily to increasingly distant locations to begin training flights. How is that going to happen in a prison?

    Good story. Too good.