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A group released a flock of pigeons with ‘Make America Great Again’ hats glued to their heads in downtown Las Vegas last week.
The stunt, which preceded US president Donald Trump‘s arrival in the city as well as a debate between six Democratic presidential candidates, was branded ‘animal cruelty’ by welfarists.
A group which calls itself P.U.T.I.N. (Pigeons, United To Interfere Now) – which describes itself as an ‘underground radical group’, says it is behind the stunt which saw 24 pigeons forced to wear the hats, and one addition pigeon decked out in an orange Trump-style hairpiece.
‘A gesture of support and loyalty’
According to a statement released by the group: “P.U.T.I.N. have used their pigeons to launch a one of a kind aerial protest piece in response to the arrival of the 2020 Democratic Presidential hopefuls.
“The release date was also coordinated to serve as a gesture of support and loyalty to President Trump…Most have returned. We expect to see the rest tonight or tomorrow.”
P.U.T.I.N. added that the hats and the hairpiece were attached to the pigeons using eyelash glue.
You see the red thing on that pigeon’s head? It’s a “Make America Great Again” hat. A group released a flock of them downtown Las Vegas on the eve of the Democratic Debate. @News3LV pic.twitter.com/xtCyd2rA96
— Max Darrow (@MaxNews3LV) February 19, 2020
Welfarists have criticized the stunt – describing it as animal cruelty. Mariah Hillman, who runs Lofty Hopes, a Las Vegas pigeon rescue organization, said she and volunteers are setting traps in an attempt to remove the hats from the pigeons, before rehabilitating and releasing them.
“It doesn’t matter what kind of glue it is,” she added. “It is still, in fact, cruelty, because you are impairing their vision,” she said. “There’s not always a guarantee that they’ll return, because they can get injured or killed before that happens.”