Magpie Attacks Children At Park, Council Applies To Have It Killed
A council in Perth has applied for a licence to cull a territorial magpie following a series of attacks on children.
Two children reportedly risk losing their eyesight after they were pecked by the same bird in separate attacks at Trigg's Clarko Reserve on Saturday.
The West Australian reports the friends, aged four and five, underwent surgery to repair cuts to the iris and cornea of their right eyes, with their parents being warned it could be months before the extent of the damage is known.
"As a parent of a young child, I am concerned to hear that a couple of children were attacked," Environment Minister Stephen Dawson told Ten Eyewitness New on Wednesday.
"We wish them a speedy recovery."
According to Perth Now, a similar attack occurred on Wednesday in the same park, with reports a 15-month-old baby was also swooped.
The City of Stirling has taken action, with Acting CEO Michael Littleton confirming to ten daily an application will be made to the Department of Biodiversity and Attractions for a dangerous fauna licence to remove the offending magpie.
"After assessing events over the weekend, the City has determined that recent magpie attacks at Clarko Reserve were not only ongoing but of serious nature," he said in a statement.
"Once DBCA officers have undertaken an assessment of the situation, they will advise whether the licence has been approved or declined."
If approved, an animal control agent would conduct an assessment of the animal that, if deemed a threat, would be killed using a firearm.
"These are trained specialists who will make a decision about what the most appropriate course of action is," Dawson said.
"Taking a magpie is the last resort."
According to the City, Clarko Reserve is well known for magpie activity, prompting the placement of 11 signs throughout the park.
At this time of year, during peak swooping season, male birds are particularly aggressive when defending the eggs or young in their nests.
"We would like to urge anyone visiting the City's parks or reserves at this time of year (spring) to take extra care and caution, and avoid areas where there may be nesting activity," Littleton said.