Online auctioneer Pigeon Paradise (PIPA) said an anonymous Chinese buyer paid a world record € 1.6 million ($ 1.9 million) for a carrier pigeon named New Kim on Sunday.
According to PIPA, the sale beat the 1.25 million euros paid for male pigeon Armando last year.
New Kim, two ears older than a famous Antwerp scaffolding, was auctioned for only 200 euros.
“I think it’s a world record, there has never been an officially documented sale at such a price,” PIPA president Nicolas Giselbrecht told AFP.
“I didn’t think we could reach that amount.”
The buyer, who was not named, he said, “might want to raise him.”
New Kim won the 2018 Ace Pigeon Grand National Middle Distance crown in competitions held in Châteauroux and Argentina-sur-Creuse in France.
The best European birds have gained worldwide fame in recent years and especially in China where pigeon racing can generate huge victories.
Wealthy buyers from the Gulf and Asia have forced the prices of champion birds to fly hundreds of kilometers (miles) for their innate ability and are still finding a way home.
Pigeon fencing is rooted in Belgian and Dutch life with a tradition spread across northern France.
The game was seen as a decline until the auctions started showing serious prices for potential champions and established winners.
Gyselbrecht said that Belgium alone has 20,000 breeders for racing competitions, who have participated in major competitions.
New Kim was trained by father and son Gaston and Kurt Van de Woover on their world class scaffolding in Berar, near Antwerp. He sold his entire “collection” of pigeons on Sunday.
(Except for the title, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and posted from a syndicated feed.)