Strict conditions for Molly the magpie’s return

Peggy and Molly in happier times

Source: Instagram

A social media famous magpie known for his fun relationship with two dogs will be reunited with his family – but only under certain conditions.

Molly was surrendered to Queensland authorities by Gold Coast couple Juliette Wells and Reece Mortensen in March following complaints over the lack of a permit.

Wells and Mortensen rescued the bird when he fell from a nest in 2020, and he then went on to form a happy and wholesome relationship with family dogs Peggy and Ruby.

The unlikely trio also developed a massive social media following, more more than a million fans on Facebook alone. Much of that weight of public opinion swung in behind the family when Molly was given up.

Premier Steven Miles said on Wednesday the state Department of Environment, Science and Innovation was working with the couple to secure a permit and bring Molly home.

But it emerged on Thursday that there will be strict conditions to assure the best outcomes for the bird’s health and wellbeing.

“Independent expert veterinary advice has shown Molly is highly habituated and may have developmental issues, meaning it can never be rehabilitated or returned to the wild,” the department said on Thursday.

For Molly to return home, Wells and Mortensen can no longer receive commercial gain from the bird or his image and will need to undertake wildlife carer training.

They will also need to advocate for public education of native wildlife and engage DESI on an ongoing basis to ensure Molly is receiving adequate care.

“Once the individuals have demonstrated they can and will meet the conditions, Molly will be placed with its former carers,” the department said.

The magpie’s adopted family appears ready to accept the conditions.

“Dreams do come true … We want to thank you, you the people, for your voices, for standing by us and making this happen,” a post read on the Molly and Peggy Facebook page on Thursday.

“Words can’t describe how grateful & moved we are to be sitting here writing this today. Our hearts are full of happiness after talking to the Premier yesterday … We will be speaking to the dept (DESI) today to finalise the next steps to bringing Molly home.”

– with AAP

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