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Prized pigeon: Someone just paid €1.25 million for a bird

Prized pigeon: Someone just paid €1.25 million for a bird
A Belgian pigeon-race champion has become the most expensive bird of its kind ever sold after the feathered racer almost tripled the previous highest price to €1.25 million ($1.4 million).

An online auction for the star bird named Armando finished on Sunday after nearly two weeks of bids, according to the pigeon sport website Pigeon Paradise (Pipa.be), which organized the auction. A few minutes bidding opened, the price for the bird rose to more than €300,000 ($340,000) before reaching more than €500,000 ($567,000) on the last day, when two buyers clashed for the champion in the last hours of the auction.

Armando, who turns five this year, is the best in the history of the sport and is called the “Lewis Hamilton of pigeons,” Fred Vancaillie, president of the local pigeon fancying association in Perwez, told Belgian broadcaster RTBF. 

“Earlier this week it became clear that Armando would be the most expensive pigeon ever sold in an online auction,” the organizers wrote, adding that no one expected Armando to break the previous record by such a vast margin.

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The mysterious buyer’s name has not been disclosed, but Pigeon Paradise noted that in the end two fans from China had fought to win the auction. Local media also reported that the Chinese are some the biggest fans of Belgian pigeons, and the new owner wants to use his new acquisition to breed other champions. 

Armando secured more than half of the total of €2.4 million ($2.7 million) that the annual auction earned this year, while the champ’s seven chicks went for more than €150,000. The previous most expensive racing pigeon called Nadine was sold for €376,000 ($427,000).

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