London, June 19 : A racing pigeon suddenly turned up at the home of the man who raised her - 10 years after he gave the bird away.
Pigeon-fancier Dino Rearden was astonished to see 'Boomerang' on Father's Day, a decade after he gave her to a friend.
The 13-year-old bird first made headlines back in 1998, when she made a 1,200 mile trip from a pigeon breeder in Algericas, Spain, back to Rearden's home in Skipton, North Yorks.
Reardon immediately gave her to another breeder in Filey, North Yorkshire - but she returned again.
Finally, still in the same year, Reardon gave her to his friend Alf Pennington in Lancashire. This time the bird didn't return, until now. The 76-year-old, who bred pigeons for the RAF during the Second World War, says he now plans to give the bird a permanent home. "She recognised me and walked straight towards me. It was only when I picked her up and checked her ring that I realised who it was," the Telegraph quoted Reardon, as saying.
"It is something that has never been done before and even more remarkable because I've moved my lofts from where Boomerang was born and bred.
"I'm going to keep her now and what is amazing is that she has already paired up with another male pigeon and I'm hoping for eggs," he added.
He said that his friend, Mr Pennington died some years ago and the bird's whereabouts since then remain shrouded in mystery.
"I just couldn't believe it. She could barely stand up and couldn't even make it into the aviary - she was just exhausted," Rearden said.
"She's home, feeling well now and she's stopping here," he added.
A spokesman for the Royal Pigeon Racing Association described Boomerang's exploits as "incredible".
Story first published: Thursday, June 19, 2008, 13:02 [IST]