Pigeon’s return is real tweet for owner

Linda, the most famous racing pigeon in the West, has returned home to Ballymurphy, safe and well, after travelling over 700 miles to Norway.
Linda, who suffered a near-death experience on her epic trip, left her Divismore Park home last June, and has only recently been returned to her owner Joe Neeson.
During her time in Scandinavia the three-year-old pigeon has earned herself celebrity status, but Joe says that the champagne lifestyle had to stop sometime and added that Linda won’t be getting the star treatment at home.
The Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) has worked across countries, in conjunction with a Norwegian Film Company, to ensure that Linda could be reunited with her owner and that her safe return was in line with appropriate animal health and welfare and biosecurity measures.
Linda was found near death on an oil refinery in Norway, and workers nursed her back to health.
The progress of the pigeon was filmed by a Norwegian film crew who were doing a fly-on-the-wall documentary and since then the bird has become famous in her adopted country.
Joe, who has been racing pigeons for the past 24 years, said that he never expected to see Linda again.
“Me and my son Joseph race the pigeons and the pigeon left home last June for a race in Penzance in Cornwall which is 310 miles away.
“She must have taken a wrong turn somewhere,” said Joe.
“I was contacted by people in Norway about a week later and when they told me where she was I couldn’t believe it, I didn’t expect to see her again.
“It took so long to get her back because there was a lot of red tape to go through.
“The workers told me that they had named her Linda because she looked like a Linda.
“She is back with my sixty other pigeons and won’t be getting any star treatment,” added Joe.
A DARD spokesman said that it is extremely rare for a racing pigeon to be found so far away.
“The pigeon’s owner was identified through its racing tags and there followed a lot of work to get the animal returned to its owner in line with appropriate animal welfare and import controls,” said the spokesman.
“Linda has undergone a period of home quarantine for 21 days, during which she has been tested for bird flu and Newcastle Disease with negative results. We are very pleased that Linda has been returned to her owner and that we have two satisfied customers on this occasion!”

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