Pakistan Once 'Arrested' A Monkey For An Unusual Reason

Nations across the world tend to take the matter of immigration pretty seriously. Given the abundance of timeless rivalries amongst those countries comprising the Middle East, it's probably safe to say that there's no other region in the world where this issue is more touchy. The infamous conflict between Israel and Palestine, for instance, has been a constant focal point of significant unrest for ages (via CFR). Is there a solution to it all? It's tough to say. However, certain countries have taken unorthodox efforts to thwart encroachment into their home territories by neighboring lands, and some of them are a little more ridiculous than others. 

According to The Washington Post, a certain being who opted to defy border regulations developed by Pakistan paid dearly for his malfeasance and was detained by authorities in 2011. While this might not sound terribly unusual at face value, there's a small detail that grants the incident a whole new level of distinctiveness. Apparently, the ambitious border crosser who became the brunt of international controversy was actually a monkey

Pakistan arrested a monkey for crossing the border

"Authorities in Pakistan's Punjab province have 'arrested' a monkey after it crossed the border with India," The Hundistan Times shared following the incident. Apparently, the ambitious little creature was taken in by police after it hopped the India/Pakistan border and posted up in a tree without the proper travel credentials. The two nations have had a tense relationship for years, so while the gesture may seem like an overcorrection, political entities deemed it necessary. 

Luckily, the monkey wasn't met with any hostile interrogation methods and didn't suffer any sort of inhumane incarceration. In fact, he was taken to the Bahawalpur Zoo in Punjab and given the name Bobby, as The Washington Post reports. Zookeeper Muhammad Iqbal shared later on that Bobby was getting along well with his animal comrades at the facility who were happy to welcome him to the jungle. He also became an attraction for zoogoers who were curious to see the fearless monkey without borders.

The pigeon who may have started it all

In 2010, Indian officials seized a suspicious pigeon that apparently had a ring around one of its feet and a Pakistani telephone number stamped upon its body. Nobody knew what to make of the mysterious bird or the inscription it bore, but for safe measure, authorities "arrested" it on suspicion of being a Pakistani spy. Some suspect that the capture and detainment of Bobby the monkey by Pakistani police may have been in retaliation to the pigeon incident. To date, neither Bobby the monkey nor the pigeon have provided comment or explanation for their questionable behaviors (via The Washington Post). 

Believe it or not, it wasn't the only time a pigeon was arrested by Indian border officials. According to TRT World, another such instance took place a few years later when a bird (also a pigeon) was taken in by police for carrying a similar inscription upon its body (also a Pakistani phone number). While repeated incidents might grant credence to suspicions of pigeon espionage, keeping pigeons as pets is actually common in Pakistan. Bird owners are also known to mark their animals with personal information in case they stray too far from home or — as we now know to be a very real possibility — find themselves on trial for being international spies.