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Lifestyle & Human Interest

Animal Rescuers Worried After Pigeons Are Found Wearing Tiny Cowboy Hats

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Las Vegas is a place where you learn to expect the unexpected — but one recent discovery has even locals surprised.

Facebook user Bobby Lee originally posted the video that has people either in stitches or up in arms, according to the New York Post: Apparently, at least two pigeons in Las Vegas are wearing little red cowboy hats.

The sight is amusing — pigeons wearing hats? How ridiculous is that? But of course, the concerning bit is how the hats got there and why they’re staying put — something Mariah Hillman with the animal rescue Lofty Hopes is pursuing.

“At first, I thought, ‘Oh my god, that’s cute!'” Hillman told KVVU-TV. “And then, I was like, wait a minute — how did they get those hats on there?”

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Though many couldn’t care less about the fate of these “sky rats,” Hillman has a soft spot for them, likens them to homeless people and has made it her mission to educate the public on these misunderstood critters.

“We rescue racing pigeons, wedding release doves, and feral pigeons,” the Lofty Hopes “About” page on Facebook reads. “We rehab for adoption or release based on their needs. We do not condone breeding.”

“It is our intent to inspire the community, to create the resources allowing community members to get involved in promoting humane treatment of pigeons by building community programs, educational opportunities, and partnerships across the nation. It is our mission to act as an advocate to ensure these war heroes their legal, moral, and ethical consideration and protection.”

Concerned about the birds and how the hats might cause issues for their wearers, Hillman and her daughter have set out to locate the pigeons and see if they can help them.

“Did they glue them? And what does that mean for them?” Hillman told KVVU. “Is it something that’s going to impede their flight or attract predators?”

“I looked all over the area, contacted the founder and gave him my number, as well as other businesses in the area asking them to call if they see them again and feed them until I arrive,” Lofty Hopes posted on Facebook. “I’m only 3 miles away so fingers crossed.”

Others have spotted them since the original sighting, and it seems as if Lofty Hopes is still hoping to find the birds. Until then, they’re doing their best to get the word out.

“We drove up and down here yesterday for a good two hours just handing out business cards to any location where I saw pigeons and people,” Hillman said. “If you see these birds, just feed them until I get here. I’m only 3 miles away and I’ll come trap them.”

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The birds in the video don’t seem too perturbed by their fashionable gear. Domesticated pigeons often wear identification bands and plenty of wild pigeons seem to get along well enough with bigger inconveniences like a missing leg, but it is a little worrying that someone clearly had no qualms gluing (or somehow otherwise permanently affixing) items to animals.

If you happen to be in the area and spot these unique birds, you can message Lofty Hopes to let them know.

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Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she's strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.
As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn't really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.
She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she's had teal hair.
With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children's books with her husband, Edward.
Austin, Texas
Languages Spoken
English und ein bißchen Deutsch
Topics of Expertise
Faith, Animals, Cooking