On September 27th, the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital treated magpies from the Moreton Bay Region, in Redcliffe, after they were intentionally poisoned by humans.
Up to 40 magpies were poisoned by a substance known as Organophosphates, commonly used as a fertilizer. Upon being exposed to this chemical, most magpies were haemorrhaging, unable to stand or take flight and required immediate medical attention.
Wildlife Rescue Queensland was present at the location, attending to the effected group of birds.
“It was very devastating for our rescuers to experience a call of this nature, and we did our best to rescue as many magpies as we could,” said Byron Cann, Committee President at Wildlife Rescue Queensland.
The magpies were found in an area where elderly residents were suspected to have been feeding them, leading to an unusually high number of these native birds accumulated in one area.
“These birds were maliciously poisoned and presented to the Wildlife Hospital extremely unwell. Many of them were found deceased on site, and several others were humanely euthanized because of the toxicity of the chemical substance,” said Dr. Ludo Valenza, Wildlife Veterinarian and Hospital Supervisor at Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital.
“The Wildlife Hospital had received 11 magpies out of 40, however, there are only six of them in care as the rest sadly succumbed to their injuries,” Dr. Valenza said.
“The surviving magpies were given an injection of atropine which helps the body to use its muscles, allowing the animal to breathe and for their heart to function properly,” she said.
The magpies that survived the ordeal are recovering well, and will remain in care at the Wildlife Hospital for the next few days. Their health will then be re-assessed to determine if they are fit to be released back into the wild. Alternatively, they will continue their treatment with a dedicated wildlife carer until they are fully recovered.
Founder of Wildlife Warriors, Terri Irwin, urges anybody with information about this inhumane crime to come forward, and help us further protect our native wildlife.
“This saddening act against wildlife comes weeks after we announced a partnership with Crime Stoppers Queensland and Australia Zoo to fight illegal crime against native wild animals,” Terri Irwin said.
“If anybody is aware of the events that led to the poisoning of these magpies, please contact Crime Stoppers Queensland, and help us bring justice to these beautiful and important birds," she said.
The newly formed partnership with Crime Stoppers Queensland and Australia Zoo will help protect native wildlife from unlawful criminal activity. Significant rewards of $1,000 will be offered to anybody providing information leading to the prosecution of those responsible for wildlife abuse.
To report a crime against native wildlife, contact Crime Stoppers Queensland on 1800 333 000, anonymously.