Sat. Apr 20th, 2024
alert-–-aussies-get-in-a-flap-as-instagram-famous-magpie-molly-–-who-was-rescued-as-a-chick-and-raised-for-years-by-a-family-alongside-their-staffie-peggy-–-is-seized-by-authorities-on-welfare-grounds:-100,000-sign-petition-calling-for-bird’s-freedomAlert – Aussies get in a flap as Instagram-famous magpie Molly – who was rescued as a chick and raised for years by a family alongside their Staffie Peggy – is SEIZED by authorities on welfare grounds: 100,000 sign petition calling for bird’s freedom

n authorities have ordered the seizure of a magpie after the famous internet bird formed an adorable friendship with a Staffordshire bull terrier. 

Molly the magpie was found as a lonely chick in a park four years ago by Juliette Wells and Reece Mortensen, of Queensland, before they brought the bird home to look after him. 

The pair introduced Molly to their Staffy, Peggy, and the two formed an unlikely but special bond. 

Ms Wells and Mr Mortensen posted photographs showing Molly and Peggy playing together in the park, lying on the floor together and seemingly being the best of friends – with the two animals gathering nearly two million followers on Instagram and Facebook. 

However, animal welfare experts objected to Molly’s housing arrangement, saying it is illegal to take a bird from its natural habitat without permission. 

Molly the magpie with Peggy the Staffordshire bull terrier, who he befriended after being adopted by two humans as a lonely chick

Molly the magpie with Peggy the Staffordshire bull terrier, who he befriended after being adopted by two humans as a lonely chick 

uliette Wells and Reece Mortensen (pictured) found Molly in the wild when he was a chick, and didn't think he would survive on his own

uliette Wells and Reece Mortensen (pictured) found Molly in the wild when he was a chick, and didn’t think he would survive on his own 

The magpie was then confiscated by officials from Queensland’s environment department on March 1 – leaving his human carers heartbroken. 

It came after a ‘small group of people’ complained about Molly living with the family as a pet, according to Ms Wells and Mr Mortensen. 

More than 700,00 people have signed a petition to have Molly returned to the family. 

One message on Instagram read: ‘This is a classic example of bureaucracy over common sense and humanity.’ 

Premier of Queensland, Steven Miles, echoed the calls for Molly to be reunited with Peggy, saying: ‘I think sometimes common sense needs to prevail. If you look at the story, there is a better outcome possible.’ 

Queensland’s environment department said magpies should not be removed from their natural habitat or kept as pets. 

Officials from Queensland’s Department of Science, Environment and Innovation (DESI) had concerns the couple had no permit to keep the bird which they claimed belongs in the wild.

Premier Miles has waded into the row amid a public outcry and given his backing to an emotional trans-species reunion.

The pair introduced Molly to their Staffy, Peggy, and the two formed an unlikely but special bond

The pair introduced Molly to their Staffy, Peggy, and the two formed an unlikely but special bond

Ms Wells and Mr Mortensen posted photographs showing Molly and Peggy playing together and lying on the floor

Ms Wells and Mr Mortensen posted photographs showing Molly and Peggy playing together and lying on the floor

‘The environment department stands ready to train Molly’s parents to be wildlife carers, to get that certification, so Molly can be reunited with the family,’ Premier Miles said. 

Mr Miles said he wanted authorities to help the family get a permit and rejected suggestions that the decision would set a bad precedent.

‘What I’m most interested in here is what’s in the best interests of that animal, and if the department can work with the family to reunite them in a way that is legal, I would support that,’ he added.

‘I don’t want to see any of the rules broken, but there has to be a way within the rules to see Molly live out a happy life with [his] family.’

On Wednesday night Ms Wells and Mr Mortensen said they were concerned for Molly’s welfare in government captivity.

‘We’ve had Molly around us and the dogs for many years. And to not have him around – the house is so quiet. We miss him a lot,’ Ms Wells said.

‘I actually don’t know where Molly is. I don’t know if he’s doing ok.’