Just bloody shoot it

For goodness sake it’s a magpie, shoot it.

A rogue magpie that swooped on a schoolgirl, gouging a small hole in her head and drawing blood, has been given a reprieve after a public outcry.

The New South Wales National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) authorised police to shoot the bird after it attacked Samantha Croft, 13, as she walked home from school in Tweed Heads, in northern NSW, last week.

But the execution plan was condemned, with even the Federal Finance Minister, Penny Wong, speaking out against it, and this week police stood down their sharpshooter.

The service then cancelled the magpie’s death warrant, saying that as a result of the publicity locals were more likely to avoid its nesting area.

Some magpies become aggressive during the six-week breeding season, swooping on and sometimes attacking people and animals. According to an ecologist quoted in the?Courier Mail yesterday, serious injuries are rare but “at least one eye is lost every year”.

They are going soft in Australia.