Pigeon sells for R21.6 million

The bird had been nicknamed the ‘Lewis Hamilton of racing pigeons’.

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).

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