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‘It’s up to the pigeons to avoid cars,’ driver arrested for driving over pigeon in Japan

‘It’s up to the pigeons to avoid cars,’ driver arrested for driving over pigeon in Japan

A taxi driver in Japan’s Tokyo has been arrested and is facing criminal charges for deliberately driving over a common pigeon, resulting in the bird's death.

The incident, which occurred last month, saw a 50-year-old taxi driver, Atsushi Ozawa, allegedly accelerating to a speed of 60km/h (37mph) as he callously ploughed through a flock of pigeons at a green traffic light.

A passer-by, alerted by the abrupt acceleration and subsequent commotion, reported the incident to the police.

Authorities, upon investigating the matter, discovered Ozawa's astonishing justification for his actions. The suspect reportedly claimed, "Roads are for people. It’s up to the pigeons to avoid cars," an assertion that has raised eyebrows and garnered widespread condemnation.

The pigeon, subjected to the vehicular assault, underwent a post-mortem examination by a veterinarian, who determined the cause of death as a traumatic shock. Ozawa's occupation as a professional driver added a sinister layer to the incident, leading law enforcement to describe his actions as "highly malicious."

Consequently, Ozawa now faces charges of violating wildlife protection laws.

Interestingly, this incident has sparked conversations about the contrasting attitudes towards different avian species in Tokyo. While pigeons are often viewed sympathetically, and considered feathered friends by some, the city's population of crows faced a different fate in the past.

Complaints about their appetite for restaurant waste led to a targeted campaign in 2001, resulting in a significant reduction in the crow population over the following two decades.

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