The “Lewis Hamilton of racing pigeons” has smashed previous records and sold for an unbelievable $1.5 million (R21.6 million) on auction.
“Nobody expected this. No one,” said Jorge Ferrari from the Pigeon Paradise (Pipa) auction website on Monday as “Armando” the pigeon became caught in a bidding war between two Chinese pigeon fanciers.
The Pipa auction house also called Armando the “best Belgian long-distance pigeon of all time”.
Chinese enthusiasm for the long-distance racing of homing pigeons has driven prices up sharply, with birds from the traditional heartland of the sport in Belgium being particularly prized.
The previous record had been a relatively paltry $426,422 (R6.15 million).