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Gaza takes flight

The pigeon race will be heading from Gaza City to Rafah, a distance of approximately 32 kilometres

The first competition of carrier pigeons was held in the occupied Gaza Strip yesterday.

Some 50 carrier pigeons took part in the race heading from Gaza City to Rafah, a distance of approximately 32 kilometres.

Held by the Palestinian Federation for Carrier-Pigeons, the event highlighted the historical importance of the birds which were used to deliver message between tribes and people, especially during times of war.

Mohammed Jendia, a carrier-pigeon breeder, said carrier-pigeons are considered the smartest types of pigeons. They are raised and trained in the same place and are left to fly around and they return to their cages, he explained. They are then slowly taken further away from their cages and they fly back. He explained that they can find their way home from hundreds of kilometres away.

The speed at which the carrier-pigeons deliver messages depends on their age, feather length, intelligence and individual abilities.

Some 45 breeders signed up to the competition. Hisham Al-Jarrar's bird won the competition beating the flock by reaching Rafah in 26 minutes.

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