Pink-painted pigeon found at Blackburn car wash

The pigeon was found covered in pink paint and is being cared for by the RSPCA. Image copyright RSPCA
Image caption The RSPCA hopes to be able to eventually release the pigeon back into the wild

A pigeon covered from "head to tail" in "greasy pink paint" has been rescued by the RSPCA.

It was spotted by members of staff at a car wash in Lower Hollin Bank Street, Blackburn on Wednesday morning.

It is not yet clear whether the pigeon had "fallen into something" or been deliberately covered in paint, an RSPCA spokesperson said.

"I've never seen anything like it in 15 years of this job," Insp Nina Small added. "Only his eyes were clear."

'Ability to fly'

"He was in a car wash of all places - perhaps he was trying to clean himself off?

"After a wash, his feathers were still stained pink. The amount of paint coming off his body was astonishing.

"If someone has intentionally painted the pigeon's feathers then I'd be very concerned for other birds and animals in the area," she said.

Insp Small added she hoped it would be possible to remove all the paint from the pigeon's feathers and release it back into the wild.

However, if its feathers have been permanently damaged its ability to fly may be affected.

There is also the possibility that, while attempting to clean itself, the pigeon may have ingested potentially toxic paint.

Image copyright RSPCA
Image caption If the bird's feather's have been badly damaged it may not be able to fly again

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