'Please explain': Alarm after native birds found GLUED to welcome sign

·Environment Editor
·3-min read

A Queensland mother says a “cloud” now hangs above the area where native wildlife was found glued to a welcome sign.

Mackay woman Kiya Durbridge said she took to social media to share her horror after a friend of hers found the two kingfishers stuck to a post at the entrance of Cathu State Forest, in North Queensland, on Friday.

One of the small blue birds had died and the other was in a distressed state when authorities were called to assist.

Using a knife to separate it from the post, the on-duty ranger was able to free the surviving kingfisher and, according to the Department of Environment, send it into care.

Split screen. Left - wide shot of kingfishers attached to sign at Cathu State Forest. Right - close up of the surviving kingfisher on a post.
While one of the kingfishers survived and was taken into care, the other died. Source: Supplied / Kiya Durbridge

With the birds appearing to be “strategically placed” and attached with a “huge” amount of glue, Ms Durbridge worried it was a “deliberate” act.

“The first thing everybody says when they hear about this is, ‘What sort of person would do this?’” she told Yahoo News Australia.

“Who actually thinks this is a good idea or it’s funny?”

‘Explain it’: Call for those responsible to come forward

Cathu State Forest was for a long time a secret spot where locals would go to enjoy nature, but as Mackay has become more urbanised, small acts of vandalism like graffiti on signs have been noticed.

The reserve is still one of the “most picturesque” in the region, and continues to be popular with families who like to play on a nearby swing rope above a river.

Now as the story about the two little birds makes national headlines, there are reports some concerned residents are thinking twice about letting their children go to the area unsupervised.

Split screen. Left - close up of hands and a knife as the ranger tries to remove the kingfisher. Right - feathers on the post after the kingfishers were removed.
A ranger used a knife to help free the surviving bird. Source: Supplied / Kiya Durbridge

Ms Durbridge wants to see the community given the peace of mind it needs and has issued a plea for the person responsible to “come forward and explain”.

“If it was an accident, explain it and help us to understand,” she said.

“I’d love to know how it came about so I can explain it to my kids.

“They’ve seen it on Facebook and they’re sickened.

“They’re like, ‘What do you mean they’ve glued a bird?’ It’s just hard for them to fathom.”

The Department of Environment and Science (DES) confirmed in a statement it is looking into the incident and may engage agencies such as the RSPCA.

Anyone with information about the matter is asked to call the DES on 1300 130 372.

The author, Michael Dahlstrom, is a registered native bird carer in NSW.

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