Canadian officials find meth-smuggling pigeon in prison yard

Prison officials were shocked to see prisoners resorting to old methods to get substances into the prison system.

A pigeon flies over an apartment building destroyed in a missile strike, amid Russia's invasion of Ukraine, in Sloviansk, Ukraine June 7, 2022. (photo credit: REUTERS/GLEB GARANICH)
A pigeon flies over an apartment building destroyed in a missile strike, amid Russia's invasion of Ukraine, in Sloviansk, Ukraine June 7, 2022.
(photo credit: REUTERS/GLEB GARANICH)

Animals have often found themselves at the center of controversy - but have they been accused of drug dealing? Shockingly, yes, they have. A pigeon found in a prison yard in British Columbia, Canada was found wearing meth "like a backpack" and was being held in police custody.

According to a report by CBC, the pigeon was seen roaming the prison yard sporting a backpack that was filled with roughly 30 grams of meth in it. Though the bird had fortunately not ingested the substance and gone on a rampage like other animals before it, the bird had still led police on a chase through the prison yard before being apprehended. 

Global News Canada reported that authorities spotted the bird and had a sense that the creature had some training under its belt.

“It was spotted by correctional officers, I believe, and security intelligence officers when the officers were doing their standard patrols around and throughout the unit and institution, that’s when they initially spotted the bird with the package on it,” correctional officers at Pacific Institution in Abbotsford, B.C. told local Canadian sources.

“And then, of course, I believe there was some creative work – because the bird moved around quite a bit – in order to track it and capture it. But it was just outside one of the unit yards when it was first spotted,” John Randle, president of the Pacific Region for Union of Canadian Correctional Officers said.

Creative methods for sneaking contraband

 Handcuffed hands rest on prison bars. (Illustrative) (credit: MATTHEW HENRY) Handcuffed hands rest on prison bars. (Illustrative) (credit: MATTHEW HENRY)

“It’s almost like the inmates and the criminals are going back in time and using older technology,” Randle told CBC. 

In months preceding the drug-smuggling pigeon, prison officials realized that drones had been used to drop weapons and drugs into the prison system. 

"It's a bit of a reality check for us that the creativity that people are going to use to try and smuggle drugs and other contraband into the institution is multifaceted."

Historically, homing pigeons have been used to carry messages dating back to the Roman Empire. These creatures were of high value during the First and Second World Wars for their ability to navigate and travel long distances to return to their homes with critical messages. 

Now, it looks like the pigeon has broken into a new market.