A two-year-old Belgian racing pigeon named New Kim has fetched a record price of €1,6 million (about R29,2 million) during an online auction held by racing pigeon auction house PIPA Elite Center from 2 to 15 November.
All the birds on auction were owned by fancier Hok van de Wouwer of Berlaar in Belgium.
According to a statement by PIPA, Van de Wouwer and his son Kurt had been producing title-winning pigeons over a number of years, and had worked with PIPA for more than 10 years.
The statement added that New Kim was the most expensive hen ever sold, “and the most expensive racing pigeon of all times”, beating the previous record, which was also set by a Belgian-bred bird named Armando, which fetched €350 000 (about R6,4 million) in 2019.
“Armando was considered to be the best long-distance pigeon of all time,” the statement said.
Associated Press reported that a Chinese bidder, who used the pseudonym ‘Super Duper’, purchased New Kim, and was believed to be the same person who owned Armando.
Explaining the investment value of New Kim, PIPA said: “New Kim’s 12 children together raised €1,46 million (about R26,65 million in earnings). The 26 grandchildren of New Kim together raised more than €694 500 (R12,67 million). [This means together they] raised €2,15 million (R39,24 million), [which is] more than New Kim [cost].”
André Landsberg, Gauteng Pigeon Union chairperson, said that in the pigeon world, female birds were generally better racers than their male counterparts. In South Africa, prices of top birds were still averaging about R1 million, he added.