Stay for death row magpie

The territorial maggie’s death sentence has sparked the interest of fans across the Tweed and beyond.
The territorial maggie’s death sentence has sparked the interest of fans across the Tweed and beyond.

A TWEED Heads magpie sentenced to death has been granted a temporary pardon, thanks to community concern and outrage.

New South Wales National Parks and Wildlife Services spokesman Lawrence Orel said the bird's high profile might have saved its life.

"At this stage the bird has not been destroyed and since it has become so high-profile the community are now aware of its location and they know to be careful," Mr Orel said.

"We have considered trapping and relocation, but now we will just wait and see what happens. It is something we will monitor."

Newspapers, television and radio jumped into the magpie debate, with hordes of people taking to Facebook and The Daily News website to voice their opinion over the bird's fate.

The outrage began when Tweed Heads father George Croft was left fuming after his daughter Samantha was attacked by the magpie while walking home from school behind Industry Dr, Tweed Heads South.

NPWS then directed Tweed police to shoot the bird after Mr Croft provided the department with enough evidence to warrant the magpie be destroyed.

However Tweed police Inspector Greg Jago said police had refused to shoot the offending magpie amid safety concerns for the public.

"Police have safety concerns about using a firearm in an area that is populated by human beings," Insp Jago said.

"This is in accordance with NSW Parks and Wildlife Services; it has been discussed that trapping the bird will be more appropriate."

Mr Croft said his main objective was never to have the magpie killed. Instead, he was just trying to make the area safer for his daughter and other residents.

"It would be nice if the bird was just captured, then we could all have piece of mind," Mr Croft said.

"This was never about punishment; I just wanted to put a stop to it.

"If the problem can be solved without killing the bird then it's a win-win situation.

"This is what I wanted when it first happened, for the bird to be captured, but I was told it could not be done because there would be a cost involved.

"If the bird can be removed then we have achieved our objective."

Topics:  tweed heads

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