Canary-fighting ring’ discovered in Connecticut


Police said the birds were being kept in cages in the house’s garage and each fight would involve a pair being put into a single cage.

Around 150 canaries and saffron finches were confiscated after officers raided a family home in the town of Shelton on Sunday.

Male canaries are notoriously territorial and often fight each other.

Police said the birds were being kept in cages in the house’s garage and each fight would involve a pair being put into a single cage.

The suspects, some of whom speak only Portuguese, face animal cruelty and illegal gambling charges. More than $8,000 (Ā£4,800) was also seized by police.

Detectives admitted that they had never heard of illegal fights involving the tiny but aggressive birds.

They said it was possible that they had uncovered a new trend in the US and warned that the investigation may spread into other states.

Some of those arrested had come from as far away as New Jersey and Boston.

It is possible the canaries and finches were bought to replace dozens of roosters which were confiscated in a raid on a suspected fighting ring in a nearby town earlier this month.

“When the canaries are bred, they will fight to the death,” said Sgt Robert Kozlowski of Sheldon police.

He said the pretty little yellow animals had other advantages for fight organisers.

He said the birds did not smell or make the same noises as fighting roosters.

“They’d fall under the radar of law enforcement as we wouldn’t think it suspicious if we saw somebody with a lot of canaries,” he said.

“I was shocked because the neighbourhood is quiet and the people seemed like really nice neighbours,” said Marion Sega, who lives nearby.

Despite their sweet image, canaries are not social birds. Some experts believe that their singing is a form of aggression so that the better the singer, the more aggressive the bird.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/5921088/Canary-fighting-ring-discovered-in-Connecticut.html

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