Depending on one’s perspective, pigeons wearing tiny cowboy hats is either an amusing sight or a terrible example of animal abuse. What’s undeniable is that two pigeons were spotted in a Las Vegas parking lot, wearing the miniature head gear.
Bobby Lee was heading to the grocery store Thursday when he saw the birds pecking the ground in a parking lot near a dumpster, The New York Times reported.
Pigeons are not unusual in Las Vegas, but Lee pulled out his cellphone and began recording video when he noticed two birds with tiny hats -- one red, and one gray, KNVT reported. Lee posted the video to Facebook, the television station reported.
Someone really put tiny cowboy hats on pigeons in Vegas pic.twitter.com/nk6FvuK8xr— ✨ Bertha ✨ (@bertha0livera) December 10, 2019
The video has gone viral on Facebook and Twitter, the television station reported.
"The birds have hats on, bro!" Lee, 26, can be heard during the 12-second video he originally posted on Facebook.
"It got a lot of attention fast," Lee told the Times. "The day after, I had a lot of news people texting me and people trying to buy my video."
Who would put hats on wild birds? Lee said he did not know, but he did say the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo was in town. But the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association, which organizes the event, "had nothing to do with the pigeons wearing cowboy hats," Scott Kaniewski, the editor of ProRodeo Sports News, told the Times.
I finally found one!!! @LasVegasLocally pic.twitter.com/j2u90R2esL— Bruja ♥🧙🏼♀️ (@kassandraqueenn) December 9, 2019
Animal welfare agencies contacted Lee, including Lofty Hopes, a bird rescue organization. The group asked him to be vigilant and report if any more birds had hats, the Times reported.
Charles Walcott, a Cornell University ornithologist who has been studying pigeons for 30 years, viewed the video Tuesday and said the pigeons seemed to be OK despite the headwear, the Times reported.
“I enjoyed the video," Walcott told the newspaper. "I just thought those pigeons with hats were cute.
"I think the thing that I would emphasize is I can’t see that it is causing any great harm to the pigeons. The hats are “certainly light enough. They look like happy pigeons to me. It is hard to know, of course, because they will not talk to us.”
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