Yeah, turns out that's a thing.
This week we have quite the docket of crimes: aiding and abetting drug cartels, robbery, and even espionage….typical stuff right? Well, um, not exactly. There’s one detail I forgot to mention.
All of these crimes were committed by birds. (Yes, really. Birds).
And if you haven’t realized it yet, this past Wednesday’s trivia answer was well…come on. (It’s a bird, duh.)
Now dial up your avian law experts and strap in, it’s about to get weird and feathery up in this.
A lookout bird named Lorenzo and other parrots
Back in 2010 in Colombia, a lovely parrot named Lorenzo was arrested. Lorenzo worked for a cartel at the time, and did his job well. Whenever he’d spot nearby police, the parrot would shout: “Run, run, the cat is going to get you!” (in Spanish, of course).
But the cops eventually figured out how to sneak into the compound without being detected. (Turns out bird alerts aren’t the best defenses…)
Not only was Lorenzo guarding a cache of guns and pot, but there was another surprise awaiting the police during the search…
Thousands of parrots!
See, Lorenzo had done his job so well that the cartel was in the midst of training a whole army to…parrot him (I had to, the joke is just sitting there for me!).
There was a similar arrest in Brazil. (Apparently lookout birds are a thing for drug pushers.)
This Brazilian parrot would shout “Mama! Police!” (in Portuguese of course) when police would walk by the small home of two crack dealers. This one didn’t work out either, as the police eventually got past the bird and arrested the offenders.
A parakeet arrested in the Netherlands whose identity was protected
Fear not, dear reader, bird arrests are not limited to Colombians and Brazilians. The Dutch do it. (can’t help hear Cole Porter now…🎵Lithuanians and Letts do it🎵…)
Over in the Netherlands in 2019, the police were called to investigate a shoplifting suspect. This suspect had a feathered friend on his shoulder. Naturally, they decided to…arrest BOTH the man and the parakeet. (Wild move, but it gets odder…)
The police even posted a photo on social media with the caption:
“We recently arrested a suspect for shoplifting. During the arrest, we found a sneaky witness with feathers and beak on the suspect’s shoulder.”
And in the photo they needlessly added a black bar to protect the bird’s identity!
The bird was provided bread and water, because well, why not?
Tinker, Tailor, Pigeon Spy
Well we’ve hit drug cartels and shoplifting. Which means it’s time for avian espionage. Where, you ask?
The India/Pakistan border.
In 2016, the Indian police found a pigeon with a note attached to its leg.
The bird was discovered in the northern state of Punjab by the Border Security Force (BSF) of India.
According to them, the note (in Urdu) attached to the pigeon’s leg threatened Prime Minister Narendra Modi (who was elected in 2014). The BSF also claimed that the note was signed by the Pakistan-based military group Lashkar-e-Taiba.
Naturally, and as is apparently normal all over the world, the BSF arrested the little guy.
(So many bird arrests. Something tells me none of them said much….)
There have been other instances of similar message-carrying pigeons along the border in 2014 and 2016 as well. Oh, and the BSF also found a dead falcon with a camera attached to it. So who knows.
Polly want some deeper crackers?
You can read about the Colombian and Brazilian lookout birdies here.
You can spend some time in the Netherlands jail with the Dutch parakeet here.
You can tackle avian espionage along the Pakistan/India border here.
-Andy & Mark
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