'Don't kill the magpie' plead parents of swooped boy at risk of blindness in one eye

 

The parents of a boy who may lose his vision in one eye after being attacked by a magpie say they do not want the bird destroyed.

It has been two days since one-year-old Jacob Gale was attacked by a magpie at Whiteman Park in Perth.

Jacob's eye is open and the little boy is playing - but his vision is still blurry.

Jacob's vision is still blurry after the magpie attack. Source: 7 News

Just four hours before Jacob was attacked, another boy was swooped.

Halls Head three-year-old Bodee White was attacked twice.

Bodee White was also swooped by the magpie just four hours earlier. Source: 7 News

"All of a sudden it flew at his face and scratched his eye," Bodee's mother Rebecca said.

"He obviously got very distressed and started screaming."

Bodee's injuries are less severe than Jacob's.

The magpie scratched the white of his eye, and although he was hospitalised his sight has not been affected.

Although Bodee was terrified, his vision has not been affected. Source: 7 News

But Jacob's family now faces an agonising wait, as it could be several years before they know the full extent of the damage and if their son will be blind in one eye.

Both Bodee's mum and Jacob's family say they do not want the magpie, which is a protected species, to be destroyed.

Park authorities, however, have been ordered to destroy the male magpie.

It's the middle of magpie season in Perth, with swoops common right through until October. Source: 7 News

"A lot of people are a little upset over the fact this magpie is being euthanased, however this is the right action in this instance," Department of Parks and Wildlife officer Rick Dawson said.

Hundreds of magpie attacks are reported to authorities each year and magpie season is just ramping up.

Older suburbs with more trees are the most prone to swooping magpies, including Armadale, Rockingham and Safety Bay.

Authorities say the best defence is simply to avoid the areas where magpies are likely to attack.

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