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A confused pigeon has turned up thousands of miles away in the US after getting lost racing back to Tyneside.

Bob set off from Guernsey in the Channel Islands three weeks ago on the 400-mile (644 km) route to Gateshead, which was supposed to take 10 hours. But instead of heading home to Tyneside the four-year-old was found at the home of a puzzled Alabama resident.

Owner Alan Todd believed Bob took a wrong turn and landed on a ship where he crossed the Atlantic. The bird, who is said to be worth more than £1,000, is currently being cared for by an animal shelter in Monroeville, Alabama. Staff said despite being underweight Bob "looks pretty good" and had been checked by a vet. Mr Todd, from Winlaton, who has been reunited with Bob via webcam, is planning to travel over to bring him back. "He wouldn't have flown all that way, I think he has probably jumped on to a ship," he said. "He was covered in oil - it could have been an oil tanker.

"They are obviously looking after him very well - when I saw him yesterday he didn't look in a good state, but looking at him today he looks a lot better just in one day."

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