When you think of expensive pets, designer dogs and thoroughbred horses probably come to mind.
You’d be forgiven for not putting pigeons high on that list.
But, to the surprise of everyone, a two-year-old pigeon has just been sold for a record-breaking price.
New Kim, a racing pigeon from Belgium, was purchased for $1.9m after a frantic bidding war.
The auction, which took place at a Belgian auction house, started bids at $237.
Over a period of two days, the price rose to the astonishingly high total.
Two Chinese men, who went by the pseudonyms ‘Super Duper’ and ‘Hitman’, were the bidders fiercely competing to bring the prize bird home.
Super Duper, a wealthy pigeon racing fan, won in the end. He already owns one male pigeon named Armando, who is apparently known as the Lewis Hamilton of the sport.
The long-distance racing of homing pigeons is now a popular sport in China, which explains the expensive bidding war.
"These record prices are unbelievable, because this is a female. Armando was a male. Usually a male is worth more than a female because it can produce more offspring," said Nikolaas Gyselbrecht, CEO and founder of PIPA, the auction house where New Kim was sold.
Still, it came as a surprise to New Kim’s breeder, Kurt Van de Wouver, who told Sky News that his family were “in shock” at the news.
We’re shocked too but, then again, we’re not avid followers of pigeon racing.