(TMU) — A mysterious group calling itself Pigeons United To Interfere Now (P.U.T.I.N.) has claimed responsibility for unleashing pigeons in Las Vegas with tiny “MAGA” hats glued to their heads.
The group apparently wanted to mock Donald Trump, but many critics are calling the stunt an act of animal cruelty.
According to NBC News a statement from the group read:
“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.”
The statement said that 25 pigeons in total were released. One of them was wearing a wig styled to look like Trump while the rest had MAGA hats glued to their heads.
Mariah Hillman, who runs a Las Vegas pigeon rescue organization called Lofty Hopes, said that attempts are being made to rescue the pigeons so they can be properly rehabilitated.
P.U.T.I.N has defended the stunt by saying that the hats and wig are only held on with eyelash glue, but Hillman says it could still seriously hurt the birds.
“It doesn’t matter what kind of glue it is. It is still, in fact, cruelty, because you are impairing their vision. There’s not always a guarantee that they’ll return, because they can get injured or killed before that happens,” Hillman explained.
Hillman also said that the same group pulled a similar stunt back in December with just a few birds and that they may have even been encouraged by the media reports that followed.
“It started here with the press making fun of it, the police didn’t do anything about it, and now it’s grown into this, so when is it going to stop, and who’s going to do something about it?” Hillman said.
One of the MAGA hat wearing pigeons can be seen in the video below:
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