Guards at a Costa Rican prison recently discovered a new method of smuggling drugs to their inmates: using carrier pigeons.
The La Reforma prison recently confiscated 14 grams of cocaine as well as 14 grams of marijuana from a pigeon that was carrying the illicit drugs in a black pouch.
The prison, in San Rafael de Alajuela, had previously thwarted efforts from prisoners to smuggle in drugs using cats and iguanas.
“They observed the bulge on the animal so they captured it and confirmed that it carried a bag with zipper — and the drugs were inside,” said prison director Paul Bertozzi to reporters at Teletica. “It seems the dove was trained for it.”
Guards allegedly found the bird on Aug. 11 as it was flying toward the prison.
According to animal experts, the bag the animal was carrying caused damage to its digestive system.
The animal will be kept in quarantine for 40 days as officials suspect it will attempt to fly back to where it came from.
“We have a warning that this method can be used again as it is not the first time in the history of La Reforma that a pigeon was detected with drugs,” said Bertozzi.
An investigation is underway to discover the origins of the drug-smuggling pigeon.