DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Officials are searching for the owner of nearly 75 homing pigeons that flew the coop, resulting in the shutdown of the Interstate 95 exit at International Speedway Boulevard this week.
According to a press release from Florida’s Volusia County, shortly before 11 p.m. Tuesday, June 29, the Volusia Sheriff’s office began receiving reports of “500 white doves” blinding drivers on I-95 in Daytona Beach. The Florida Highway Patrol and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission were also called to the scene.
Preliminary investigations at the scene revealed that a crate carrying more than 100 homing pigeons fell off a truck and burst open on the road. Because birds roost at night, the pigeons stayed on the road, until bright lights from vehicles startled the birds, causing them to fly into the air and create a hazard for drivers.
For the safety of drivers and the birds, the exit ramp was shut down for almost three hours as the agencies worked together to capture the pigeons. More than 70 pigeons were recovered and are being housed at Volusia County Animal Services. However, officials said, the birds are not banded, making it difficult to know where the birds came from or who they belong to.
“Our job is to help animals find their way home, whether they’re covered in fur, scales, or in this case feathers,” said Volusia County Animal Control Officer Alicia Dease. “We’re hoping someone out there might have information on where these birds came from or the truck that was carrying them. While homing pigeons aren’t as common as dogs or cats, they are cared about by someone, and we want to ensure they’re returned to their rightful owner.”
Anyone with information regarding the pigeons should call Volusia County Animal Services at 386-248-1790 or email [email protected].
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