A pigeon racing fan from China purchased a bird, New Kim, for a world record price of 1.6 million euros (about $1.9 million), from Belgium’s Pipa pigeon center, according to the Associated Press.
Two anonymous Chinese bidders – “Super Duper” and “Hitman” – raised New Kim’s price by $325,000 in a half hour of bidding on Sunday, per AP. The Chinese industrialist “Super Duper” previously purchased Armando for $1.4 million in 2019, Niels Cuelenaere, Pipe project manager, confirmed with Business Insider.
Pigeon racing, the sport of releasing specially-trained pigeons that return to their homes over a measured distance, has grown in China, according to the outlet, per AP. Most bidders buy these racing birds in Belgium because it has generations of pigeon breeders who organize races.
“These record prices are unbelievable, because this is a female,” Nikolaas Gyselbrecht, the CEO and founder of the auction house Pipa, told Reuters. “Usually a male is worth more than a female because it can produce more offspring.”
“Everybody is interested in our pigeons,” Pascal Bodengien, head of the Belgian pigeon federation, told AP. (RELATED: Pigeons Wearing MAGA Hats Released In Las Vegas Ahead Of Democratic Debate)
Gaston Van de Wouwer auctioned 445 birds, including New Kim, for a total of about $7 million, according to AP.