Millions of pigeons perish in Taiwan's grueling pigeon race

Around 500,000 pigeon racers get together annually to compete for millions in prize money.

    2018/07/05

NSFW    TAIWAN — More than a million pigeons pass through the pearly gates every year while being forced to compete in Taiwan's controversial pigeon sea races.

The competition is a series of grueling events where young birds are shipped out on cargo ships and released in order to see which ones make it back to Taiwan the fastest.

Some of the birds fall into the water right away, others collide into each other or the ships. Most succumb to fatigue as they battle fierce typhoon-strength winds.

Around 500,000 pigeon racers get together annually to compete for millions in prize money.

"Prizes" such as refrigerators are listed on gambling sheets as a cover for huge amounts of betting.

Less than one percent of the pigeons actually make it back to land.

According to PETA, competitors cheat by importing breeds, drugging birds and kidnapping other racers' pigeons.
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