AN animal loving Austrian couple has not gone on holiday for over 17 years - after adopting an injured pigeon.

And Bertl and Irmi Reiterer are often unable to use the oven at their home in Salzburg as the bird uses it for a nest.

Mr Reiterer, 84, said: “I found her by the side of the road where she had obviously been hit by a car and had broken a wing. We gave her some food and had her treated by a vet and put her in the garage downstairs - that was in April 17 years ago. It was clear that because of her injuries she would never fly again and at Christmas when I accidentally left the door open she came inside and then hopped into the oven which had just been used and was still warm - and refused to come out. I guess she felt it was too cold down in the garage. We gave her a bit to eat in the oven - a few pieces of cornbread. The next morning when she was still there we gave her some water, and she sort of just remained.” –WO