After reading this intro you probably have a lot of questions. Let me try to predict and answer some of them for you:
Is pigeon racing real or is this like a fantasy baseball league where you buy a picture of a bird with stats like 'Speed: 5/10' and 'Seed Consumption: 10/10?'
Yes, pigeon racing is a real thing using real pigeons.
It’s such a thing that although this is a record amount, it’s only a couple of hundred thousand above the previous record and apparently not an unreasonable amount of money to spend on a bird in the sport.
Do they wear helmets?
No, they don’t wear any kind of cute hat (sadly).
Does the bird have a name?
The bird's name is New Kim; it’s still unclear if there is an Old Kim.
And you could say that New Kim is as proud as a peacock to be the world’s most prized pigeon.
Are all racing pigeons Belgian and Dutch?
Because of generations of experience and strong networks through which many pigeon growers can coordinate races together, Belgians have long stood out as the best breeders.
And you could say they have an eagle eye for what makes a steadfast pigeon.
Are all pigeons Belgian and Dutch?
Hard to say.
The local pigeon down the shops in the dumpster may be Australian-born but it possibly did have a great grandparent who was Dutch, it really depends how fast it flies away when you kick the dumpster. If its name is Henk then this is even more likely.
Is Pigeon racing popular in China or is this Chinese buyer just super-rich and equally keen on having a fast bird and wasting his money?
Yes, it’s vastly gaining popularity in China.
This is partly because there is a rise of wealth in China and no casinos; gamblers are always looking for new fields to place their bets.
And you could say it has been taken to like a duck to water.
How do they race; is it on foot or in the air?
Silly question if you ask me, of course it's on foot... Just kidding, it's in the air.
The race works by getting pigeons used to one coop for a few months, then they are released hundreds of kilometres away. The first and fastest pigeon to make its way back wins.
Prize amounts can reach tens of millions of euros.
The 'sport' has gained such popularity that only a decade ago, the record price for a pigeon stood at one-tenth of New Kim's price.
Main Image: AAP