Reports that pigeons to be used in a ceremony for National Day were checked for “dangerous materials” provoke derision.
About 10,000 pigeons released in a ceremony for China’s National Day underwent unusual scrutiny, each having its feathers and anus checked for dangerous materials, state-run media has said, reflecting government concerns over possible attacks.
The symbols of peace were released at sunrise on Wednesday in Beijing’s symbolic heart of Tiananmen Square in a ceremony for the October 1 holiday to celebrate the 65th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China.
Beijing domestic security police officer, Guo Chunwei, was quoted in the Jinghua Times as saying workers checked the wings, legs and anus of each pigeon ahead of time to ensure they were “not carrying suspicious material”.
The entire process was videotaped, and the birds were then loaded into sealed vehicles for the trip to Tiananmen Square, the newspaper said.
A similar report appeared in the Beijing News, and the People’s Daily tweeted about it in English: “10,000 pigeons go through anal security check for suspicious objects Tue, ready to be released on National Day on Wed.”