This photo posted by Penticton, B.C. photographer Gary McDougall is extremely disturbing.
It shows a pigeon with what looks like a paper hat stuck on its head and a bell wrapped around its neck.
The pigeon is missing all of its tail feathers making it difficult to fly and it appears someone may have painted its feathers.
In an interview in Castanet, wildlife rehabilitator Manda Maggs said a red tinge on the bird may be deliberate.
“Pigeons sometimes have a pinkish tinge to their feathers, but this is a very dull matte red colour – not natural for a pigeon…I am quite certain it’s not blood, it doesn’t cake the feathers nor does it seem to have any origin (wound or injury)… Could be paint, ink, or a chemical. We can’t know for sure until the bird is checked out.
The bird hasn’t been seen since April 13.
Magg said pigeons aren’t very fast birds and will approach quickly if someone spread breadcrumbs.
“As a rehabber, I’ve never myself seen an abuse case like this.
In a CBC interview, Maggs said the bird will likely endure a slow, painful death if not found and able to get into rehabilitation.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police in Penticton has sent a special constable to investigate.