Mariah Hillman rolled down the window of her minivan just after daybreak, ready for a six-hour stakeout in the parking lot of a Las Vegas apartment complex. Her mission: To rescue a pigeon she had nicknamed Coolamity Jane, last spotted wearing a red, plastic cowboy hat, NBC News reports.
In December, videos of hat-wearing pigeons in Las Vegas went viral, made national headlines and gave way to a deluge of memes — someone even created a song about the birds. To Hillman, 47, who runs Lofty Hopes, a Las Vegas-based pigeon rescue organization, the hats glued to pigeons were not a joke, but a form of animal cruelty. She became determined to find the pigeons and remove the hats.
While the internet frenzy has waned, Hillman’s dedication to rescuing the pigeons has not. She has spent hours nearly every day for more than a month looking for them. She trapped two of the pigeons, nicknamed Cluck Norris and Billie the Pidge, and brought them to a veterinarian to cut off their hats, but Coolamity Jane has eluded her.
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On a recent Friday morning, Hillman leaned back in the front seat of her minivan with Edgar, a rescue pigeon and her stakeout companion, perched on her shoulder. “Maybe today will be the day,” she said. “We’ll see.”