Pigeon New Kim has shattered all records for racing pigeon sales.
The two-year-old female pigeon achieved a record price of 1.6 million euros ($2.6 million), according to pigeon racing auction house PIPA.
The Belgian-bred bird sold to a Chinese bidder after a mad finish to the two-week auction this week.
A bidding war between two Chinese enthusiasts saw the price of the auction soar past the previous record of 1.25 million euros.
According to reports, the new owner of the world’s most expensive pigeon also previously held the record after male pigeon Armando sold for $2 million in 2019.
But the Chinese individual clearly saw something special in New Kim and was prepared to shell out the record price.
The New York Times reports the same person also purchased one of New Kim’s hatchlings for $970,000.
The report claims the new owner could bread any potential offspring of Armando and New Kim for more than $320,000.
Nikolaas Gyselbrecht, the founder the Pigeon Paradise centre in Belgium and auction house PIPA, said there is evidence to suggest the record price may be a wise investment.
Gyselbrecht said the pigeon: “Performed as the best bird in Belgium in 2018
“You could compare it to a Picasso painting. It will sell more than a local American artist.”
New Kim was also one of the last pigeons raised by breeder Gaston Van de Wouwer — a successful breeder who has since retired.
AP news wire reports the auction of Van de Wouwer’s 445 pigeon estate had already reached sales of $9.8 million with days still left in the auction.
The record sales to Chinese investors reflects the shifting focus of the pigeon racing world with the auction house estimating Chinese buyers now make up around 50 per cent of the $68 million in annual sales through the PIPA auction house.