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Someone Stole 300 Pigeons From Washington Square Park

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Last week, some 300 pigeons were abducted from Washington Square Park in a fowl mid-day heist. Washington Square Park Blog reports that on July 21 around 3 p.m. two men threw some seed around the west side of the park and waited for the pigeons to congregate before netting them and throwing them into the back of an unmarked white van. Why oh why would anyone want 300 born-and-bred New York City pigeons? WSP Blog thinks the pigeons are being shipped off to Pennsylvania, where they'll be catapulted into the air in a live shoot.

The heist has ruffled a few feathers within the community. Artist and pigeon advocate Tina Tratchenberg—the same lady who makes those little felt birds and sells them in the park—explained her take on the endeavor,

Once they net them, they take the pigeons to a place in Brooklyn, they box them up with no water and no food, obviously they are very stressed, they then look at them—some have a broken wing or foot from the netting...a couple days later, they are taken to Pennsylvania, sold as food, sometimes sold as quail, but for the pigeon shoots mainly. They clip their wings [so they cannot fly away]. The person who shoots the pigeon pays $50 per pigeon. They are very wealthy stupid people who find this fun and entertaining. Tratchenberg continued on Facebook,

I received horrific news today. These innocent, trusting, loving, pigeons, approximately 300 of them were netted on Tuesday in Washington Square Park. The person who did this will transport them to Pennsylvania where they will have their wings clipped and be put into a mechanism that will shoot them in the air and men will shoot them for sport. These were my friends that I loved dearly. Please come to Washington Square park tomorrow for a memorial and to give love to me and all of the other people who loved them. Our hearts are crushed. The NYPD is on the case, which might not mean all that much. A Parks Department spokesperson issued the, uh, following statement: "Don't steal our animals! Pigeons are core to the character of New York City, and it is illegal and dangerous to remove animals from NYC Parks."
· Who Netted and Abducted Nearly 300 of Washington Square Park's Pigeons? [WSPB]
· NYC Parks to Pigeon Abducters: Don't Steal Our Animals! — "Pigeons are Core to Character of NYC" [WSPB]