Drug dealing just got a whole lot more complicated.
A pigeon was found with 178 pills of ketamine, an anesthetic made to tranquilize animals, in the Middle East. "The bird was caught near the customs building in Abdali, close to the border with Iraq," according to an article of the BBC. For centuries, pigeons have been used to deliver messages to people. They have a unique "homing ability" that allows them to find their way to the destination and back home. However, drug smugglers have been using the birds to do the dirty work for them. "Law enforcement officials elsewhere have identified previous cases where pigeons have been used to carry lightweight high-value narcotics," the article continues.
In places like Costa Rica and Colombia, they've been caught with illegal substances taped to their bodies.
But the Middle East had yet to experience anything like its Caribbean and South American counterparts. "Abdullah Fahmi told the BBC that customs officials already knew pigeons were being used to smuggle drugs, but this was the first time they had caught a bird in the act," the article continues. Even though ketamine's considered an animal anesthetic, the tranquilizer's a date-rape drug that can also be abused. Unfortunately, ketamine's pretty popular. Even The Weeknd's sung of his love for the drug in his earlier songs.
The star was not aware of just how badly the drug could ruin his life. He got clean, but others haven't been as lucky. According to The Guardian, 125,000 people in the United Kingdom use ketamine. The number will only continue to grow. Now that drug smugglers are finding new ways (e.g., pigeons and drones) to deliver their products, nightmares of addiction, overdoses, and spiked drinks become more and more of a reality.
Not only do humans suffer, but so do the animals.