Former heavyweight champion, Mike Tyson is taking his love of pigeons to new heights.
The 57 year-old recently traveled all the way to Poland to purchase 100 pigeons from a local breeder in a Polish village.
Photos of Tyson’s visit recently surfaced on the Polish-language Instagram account TeamHypeTalk, which writes: “Mike Tyson flew especially to Piątnica (near Łomża) to buy 100 pigeons from a local dealer! No one would have predicted such a turn of events today.”
Tyson’s love of pigeons has been well documented over the years. In his younger years, he would take care of the birds in his Brownsville neighborhood of Brooklyn. After retiring in 2005, Tyson had a massive pigeon coop constructed in the backyard of his Paradise Valley home for his 350 pigeons; and even appeared in one season of an Animal Planet series in 2011 that documented him competing in the sport of pigeon racing.
As the Daily Mail reports, several veterinary officials were called to the village to vaccinate the pigeons so that they could be certified for export to the USA.
However, “the issue of exporting birds is not simple, with Virulent Newcastle Disease and HAPI restricting the free trade of these animals,” it stated.
But the trip to Poland, specifically, was apparently not random, as the country has gained a global reputation for pigeon breeding in recent years. It’s supposedly even home to Europe’s largest community of pigeon breeders.
Earlier this March, the Polish government announced it intended to place traditional pigeon breeding on the country’s List of Intangible National Heritage. Deputy Culture Minister Jaroslaw Sellin has gone on record saying: ‘Polish mail pigeons are world-class.’