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Racing pigeon sells for record $1.9 million after frantic bidding war: "Total shock"


Super Duper got the hen, and behind the pseudonym is said to be the same wealthy Chinese industrialist who already had Armando, allowing for breeding with the two expensive birds.


Top breeders relying on generations of family experience can now sell their birds for prices unheard of merely a decade ago, and often China is their destination.


On this occasion, successful breeder Gaston Van de Wouwer retired at 76 and his son had too busy a professional life to continue the famed pigeon coop.


"These record prices are unbelievable, because this is a female," Nikolaas Gyselbrecht, the CEO and founder of the auction house Pipa, told Reuters.


China often features one-loft racing, where pigeons all get used to one coop for months and then are released many hundreds of miles away to make their way back with their unique sense of orientation and special speed training.


This is where, little more than a generation ago, the national weekend radio news was followed by announcements on whether pigeons were released in faraway places in France or even Spain and what weather conditions the birds were facing.






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