An ace racing pigeon named Armando has been sold for a record 1.25 million Euros (N 510, 153,750.00) in an online auction, Belgian media has reported. The prized bird - Belgian's best long-distance racer of all time according to those in the know - was bought by a Chinese buyer.
Armando had been expected to break the previous record of 376,000 Euros (N154 million) paid for a pigeon called Nadine - but not by such a wide margin.
"Earlier this week it became clear that Armando would be the most expensive pigeon ever sold in an online auction," specialist website Pigeon Paradise wrote.
"However, no one expected that the magical cap of a million euros would be pulverized," it added. The final amount was 1,252,000 euros.
Pigeon Paradise did not say who had bought the pigeon, but according to the Belgian news agency Belga, it was a Chinese buyer who will no doubt use his new acquisition to breed other champions. Armando was just one of more than a hundred birds sold by respected Belgian breeder Joel Verschoot.
Verschoot's stable of pigeons is based in Ingelmunster, in the west of Belgium, and the online auction of his pigeons have been open for several weeks.
Homing pigeons are raced by releasing them sometimes hundreds of kilometers from home, with the first back home winning. Racing them is a tradition in Belgium, Britain, northern France, and the Netherlands, although it has been going into decline. But interest from Asian buyers in recent years has given the practice a new lease of life.