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How a German ’racing pigeon’ went viral after speed camera snapshot

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How a German ’racing pigeon’ went viral after speed camera snapshot
The snapshot that has travelled the world over. Image: DPA
09:54 CEST+02:00
The German town of Bocholt on the Dutch border has become unexpectedly famous all because of a speedy pigeon.

The pigeon exceeded the speed limit by 15 km/h, although officials are sceptical it’ll pay the fine.

It was caught speeding down a residential street in the North Rhine-Westphalia town at 45km/h, a good tick over the 30km/h speed limit. 

The pigeon’s speed triggered the automatic camera in the device - and a viral story was born. 

After initially being picked up by the German media, the pigeon story flew worldwide - covered by outlets in the United States, the United Kingdom, Brazil and Australia. 

The penalty for such an offence is €25. 

The ‘We Love Bocholt’ Facebook site said they were caught off guard by their newfound fame. 

A Facebook user from Bocholt lamented that now the pigeon “was even more famous than us”, while several others claimed to have know the pigeon well. 

According to the United KIngdom’s Pigeon Control Resource Centre says pigeons fly on average as fast as 123km/h and have been clocked at up to 150km/h - meaning that pretty much anywhere but the Autobahn is off limits. 

READ: Greens call for speed limit on Autobahn

SHARE YOUR VIEW: Should there be a speed limit on the Autobahn?

The pigeon was caught on camera back in February, but the news wasn’t brought to light until May. 

In cases of speeding such as this, there’s a 3km/h leeway - although that would mean the pigeon is still 12km/h over the limit. The Bocholt City Council said they decided against opening up a call for witnesses to the incident. 


pigeon - (die) Taube

snapshot - (der) Schnappschuss

speed camera - (die) Blitzer

fine - (die) Geldstrafe

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