Update: Long-term arrangements for voluntarily surrendered magpie ‘Molly’

The Department of Environment, Science and Innovation (DESI) has approved a specialised licence and today (15 April 2024) returned ‘Molly’ the magpie to a couple who took it in as a nestling in 2020.

Independent expert veterinary advice has shown that Molly, who was surrendered to the department on 1 March, is highly habituated and may have developmental issues, meaning it can never be rehabilitated or returned to the wild.

The decision to return Molly has been made in accordance with the Nature Conservation Act 1992, following extensive legal advice.

The family demonstrated their willingness and ability to meet the conditions set out in the licence, including:

  • No ongoing commercial gain from the bird or its image.
  • Undertaking wildlife carer training.
  • Ongoing engagement with DESI to ensure the bird is receiving adequate care and enrichment.

These conditions are standard for all specialised licences held by wildlife carers in Queensland and ensure the best outcome for the bird’s ongoing health and wellbeing.

DESI has also required the family undertake an advocacy and public education role be performed to encourage people to appropriately care for native wildlife and acknowledging the specialist skills required to care for and rehabilitate wildlife.

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