Fifty-seven pigeons were found inside boxes thrown away in a trash can in Indiana and seven have since died, authorities said.
Indiana State Police said they responded to a call of birds in a dumpster on around 1:30 a.m. on Dec. 10 at the White County rest park on Interstate 65. There, they found several cardboard produce boxes filled with live pigeons in a dumpster.
Officials believe the animals likely came from an illegal pigeon gambling race, where their wings are clipped and they are forced to run around a track.
Trooper David Vido and wildlife rehabilitators recovered 57 total pigeons that had been “thrown away,” according to state police. Five of the pigeons were dead at the scene and two others died from injuries and malnutrition following the rescue.
“In my 40 years of being a certified wildlife rehabilitator, this has been a first,” Kim Hoover of Pulaski County said about recovering this many animals in one instance.
The remaining 50 pigeons are currently recovering and will available for adoption once they regain their health in the upcoming weeks, according to state police. Anyone interested in adopting can contact A Critters Chance in Indianapolis at (765) 430-5610.