RENO, NV — No matter how “quirky and fun” it may seem, it’s downright inhumane to make a pigeon wear a sombrero, says Reno City Manager Sabra Newby.
The pigeon with the tiny glued-on hat was the first spotted in Reno — though 400 miles away in Las Vegas, it seemed to be a thing in December. Nobody knows who’s behind it, or why.
But the birds suffered horribly under the inhumane treatment, and one of those pigeons died, Newby pointed out in a statement admonishing Reno residents. “We don’t want copycats.”
Twitter users flocked to Newby’s Twitter account to share photos of the sombrero-wearing pigeon, which the city manager saw Wednesday when she was doing a ride-along with a parking enforcement officer.
Shayanne Schull, the director of the Washoe County Animal Services department, told ABC News that officials “are monitoring the current situation with the recent report of a hat on a local pigeon.”
“Washoe County Regional Animal Services finds this practice of affixing any objects on wild birds disturbing, inhumane and strongly discourages this type of behavior,” Schull said. “Should the community see this take place or have tips on who might be conducting this behavior, please call 775-322-3647 or 311, and we will investigate and work with appropriate authorities.”
The spectacle of pigeons wearing sombreros a month ago in Las Vegas caused a similar outcry among animal rescue groups after a guy who filmed one of the capped birds remarked, “The rodeo is in town so that’s the only explanation I have.”
The Las Vegas pigeons, nicknamed “Coolamity Jane” and “Cluck Norris,” became an internet sensation, even inspiring a parody country song. Rescuers were able to rescue Cluck Norris and were trying to figure how to get the red cowboy hat off the bird’s head, ABC News reported. The pigeon’s saviors found him just in time, as hawks were zeroing in on him as if he had a target on his back.