EXCLUSIVE: Heartbroken parents of baby girl killed in freak magpie tragedy say their ‘whole world has been taken’ from them – as devastated family and friends break down at the scene and lay tributes
- Father Jacob said he is in unimaginable pain after losing his daughter Mia
- Remembered five-month-old Mia’s ‘infectious smile’ and ‘adorable laugh’
- Mother ducked to avoid a swooping magpie and tripped over in the local park
- Baby’s loved ones have come together to help pay for five-month-old’s funeral
- Aunts told how Mia’s parents ‘showered her with love’ in time they had with her
The shattered family of a five-month-old girl who tragically died when her mother tried to protect her from a swooping magpie say their ‘world has been taken’ – as the bird is captured and moved into far away bushland.
Simone, 30, was walking through Glindemann Park in Holland Park West, south-east Brisbane, with baby Mia in her arms when she tripped while trying to avoid the aggressive magpie at 12.05pm on Sunday.
The little girl suffered head injuries and paramedics took her to Queensland Children Hospital, but she couldn’t be saved.
On Tuesday evening, the youngster’s father Jacob, 32, described the agony of losing his only child to Daily Mail Australia.
Five-month-old Mia (pictured) suffered a serious head injury and died in hospital after she and her mother Simone were swooped by an aggressive magpie
Her father Jacob said Mia had an infectious smile and laugh and brought joy to everyone
‘Our whole world has been taken from us and the pain we are experiencing is unimaginable,’ he said.
‘We are so grateful for the most precious little gift we ever received.
‘Mia brought joy to everyone’s lives with her infectious smile, her pure innocence and her adorable laugh, she will be forever in all our hearts.’
Jacob said Mia was the most precious gift that he and Simone ‘ever received’ and that her ‘adorable laugh’ and ‘infectious smile’ brought joy to everyone’s lives.
The doting father thanked family, friends and members of the public who have expressed their condolences, and reminded people to ‘love and embrace your loved ones’.
‘We live in such an incredible and thoughtful community,’ he said.
‘Your well wishes have touched our hearts and we appreciate all the support you have provided. We are sorry we cannot thank everyone individually but we are reading every loving message we receive.’
Family members pay their respects on Tuesday at the park where baby Mia tragically died after a magpie swooping incident at Glindemann Park in Holland Park West
Pictured: Grieving loved ones are are seen with an arrangement of flowers at Glindemann Park
A couple who were in the park and witnessed the tragedy paid their respects as floral tributes to the five-month-old baby grew
Flowers are left at the scene after the five-month-old was killed in a freak magpie swooping accident on Sunday
There were emotional scenes on Monday when family members and devastated locals laid flowers and left moving tributes beneath a tree where baby Mia had died.
Loved ones broke down in tears as they embraced one another at Glindemann Park, sharing memories of the ‘precious little girl’.
In a heartfelt message to Mia, Jacob said: ‘Mum and dad love you dearly Mia and we treasure the beautiful life we had with you. Rest In Peace Mia. Love Mum and Dad xoxoxo.’
Brisbane Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner said earlier on Tuesday the magpie has been moved ‘a long way away’.
‘The bird has been moved well outside of the urban area and into a place where it can’t come back to Holland Park. That is an option we have available to us and one we use from time to time,’ he said.
Magpies are a protected species in Australia and it is an offence to hurt or kill them.
If they are moved more than 50km away from their nest, they are unlikely to return.
Mr Schrinner said the council will look into ways to prevent the situation from happening again, despite a number of people complaining about the aggressive bird.
Brisbane Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner (pictured) said earlier on Tuesday the magpie has been moved ‘a long way away’
A couple who witnessed the magpie swoop on baby Mia and her mother Simone lay flowers at the scene in Holland Park West, Brisbane
Pictured: Loved ones broke down in tears as they embraced one another at Glindemann Park, sharing memories of the ‘precious little girl’
‘To see the loss of five-month-old young Mia in such tragic circumstances is something that has shocked the community to the absolute core,’ he said.
‘This is something no one wants to see happen, something that has never happened before and something we want to make sure never happens again.’
The baby’s loved ones have since come together to help her mother and her father Jacob grieve and pay for the cost of Mia’s funeral.
In a touching online tribute to the youngster, her aunts told how Mia’s parents ‘constantly doted over her’ and ‘showered her with love’.
‘The joy Mia brought to all of our lives cannot be described in words, but is certainly felt in all of our hearts,’ the GoFundMe fundraiser reads.
Pictured: A circle of family members stand arm in arm at an emotional tribute to baby Mia
Pictured: A large assortment of flowers are seen at the base of a tree near where baby Mia died
The couple rushed to help the mother and daughter after the magpie swooped down on them are pictured at the scene on Tuesday
Mia’s mother ducked to avoid the magpie in Glindemann Park shortly after midday on Sunday and tripped over with baby Mia in her arms
‘Jacob and Simone have not asked for anything but time – time to grieve the loss of their stunning little ray of sunshine.’
The fundraiser told how two of Mia’s aunts were desperately trying to get an exemption so they could enter Queensland and support the grieving parents.
‘Raising some money would not only help Jacob and Simone pay for the cost of Mia’s funeral, but would enable Jacob and Simone to take as much time away from work and the world as they need,’ the sisters wrote.
‘We ask you as their family, their friends, their acquaintances, or even strangers, to donate whatever you can to allow them to take as long as they need to grieve.
‘We love you both Jacob and Simone, and will forever love you Mia….Fly high baby girl.’
Pictured: Loved ones gather at Glindemann Park to pay respect to baby Mia
Pictured: A pink bunny rabbit toy is placed at the base of a tree near where baby Mia tragically died
Pictured: A number of heartfelt message of support were left at the scene of the incident
Pictured: Family members embrace one another at the Holland Park West scene
A witness to the horrific accident had earlier praised the baby girl’s ‘heroic’ father for calling triple-zero immediately and doing ‘everything he could’ to save his child’s life.
‘I’ve seen shock before but this was beyond anything I’d ever seen,’ the man told the Courier Mail.
He praised the baby girl’s ‘heroic’ father for quickly calling Triple-0 while trying to do ‘everything he could’.
‘It’s sickening I suppose, seeing a family torn apart in one quick moment,’ his wife added.
On Monday meanwhile it emerged a concerned resident had issued an eerie warning urging others to be aware of an aggressive magpie terrorising a local park just days before the swooping incident.
The man sternly advised residents to avoid Glindemann Park after he was attacked multiple times.
Others too said they had been attacked and left bloodied by the wild bird.
Pictured is a pedestrian holding a stick on the road outside the south-east Brisbane park. Multiple warning signs around Glindemann Park urge residents to be wary of swooping magpies
A warning sign is pictured telling Glindemann Park users to ‘walk quickly through the area’ and to get off their bike and walk if they are cycling through the park
A well-wisher pays tribute at the scene on Tuesday. Residents said the bird loiters around the Nursery Road side of the park – the same strip where the woman and baby were attacked on Sunday
Another resident said he reported the bird to the council about eight weeks ago after being swooped but the bird was not removed (pictured, a warning sign erected in the park )
It was one of many stories shared online in the wake of the infant’s death, with dozens of locals coming forward to share stories of being chased by the territorial magpie.
‘It is magpie season again [and] there’s a particularly aggressive one who nests every year in the large gum tree at the end of Glindemann Park,’ a man wrote in a local Facebook group on July 31.
‘[I] suggest [using] an alternative route or if you have to [use it] keep an eye out, and don’t turn your back on him – just walk calmly through, waving your hands above your head if you have to.
‘He’s given me a few nips over the years whilst doing bush care down here.’
The man said the bird loiters around the Nursery Road side of the park – the same strip where the woman and baby were attacked on Sunday.
Many locals said they had experienced similar run-ins with the feathered creature, which left some with bloody wounds.
One mother said her children were attacked by the same bird, and were wounded on their cheeks, very close to their eyes, despite wearing helmets.
Pictured is a magpie in Glindemann Park on Tuesday. A man who lived in the area had warned other residents to avoid the park after he was attacked multiple times
Pictured: A man carries an assortment of flowers to place under a tree at Glindemann Park
Another magpie flies across the suburban Brisbane park on Tuesday morning. Brisbane City Council workers captured the bird that swooped on the mother and her baby at 3pm on Monday
A man urged residents to steer clear of the park after he was repeatedly attacked by the magpie
‘That one has nipped my left ear the past two years and drew blood, right where the earlobe joins my face,’ another woman said.
‘I’ve spoken to others who have also been nipped on their left ear by this same bird.’
‘He got me too. Luckily only got my sunnies,’ another replied.
One woman said the ‘very aggressive’ bird relentlessly swooped her as she walked 500 metres, while another said her father-in-law, who is on blood thinners, bled profusely after it cut his head.
Some claim they had previously reported it to the council, but no action was taken to relocate the animal until the little girl’s death.
Meanwhile, community members have offered their condolences to the grieving family in posts on social media.
‘So sorry for this family’s loss. Incredibly sad,’ one post read.
The mother was being swooped by the magpie in Glindemann Park (pictured) when she tripped while carrying her baby
The magpie (stock image) was captured by council workers and taken away in a cage – after numerous complaints from locals fell on deaf ears
‘This is just so sad. It makes me angry and incredibly devastated at the same time.
‘The poor mother (especially) and father would be suffering in unbearable and unbelievable grief,’ another wrote.
‘So very sad. Prayers and thoughts for the heartbroken family,’ a third said.
Two Brisbane City Council workers captured the magpie at 3pm on Monday and took it away in a cage, after taping off the park and erecting warning signs.
Swooping, which is only carried out by male magpies, is an uncommon trait among the species, with only around 10 per cent of the males using the technique to defend their nests.
Brisbane Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner gave a press conference on the tragic death on Tuesday in which he said the Council was working with police to establish what happened.
‘This situation is probably impossible to have predicted, but we know that if we can do anything to prevent this situation from occurring again, we will do that,’ he said.
‘I want the family to know that our community is with them. We cannot even imagine the tragedy that they are going through at the moment and the way that they are feeling.’
City Standards are investigating the incident and police are preparing a report for the coroner.
Pictured: A moving array of flowers, toys and messages of support at place at Glindemann Park
Why do magpies swoop?
Magpies begin sweeping around peak breeding season from August through to November.
During breeding season, magpies are mainly trying to defend their nest and its inhabitants. Breeding sites for the magpies are in short supply, and once the site has been gained, the magpies must defend it to prevent the territory being reduced or seized.
Male magpies will defend the nest during breeding season until the eggs are laid and the young birds are developed. This means that they will attack anything they consider to be a potential threat such as humans or animals by swooping down with a fast flight which can lead to contact being made.
Magpies will usually attack from behind so facing them has been known to halt a possible attack.
Male adult magpies use body language such as beak clapping, whooshing above the head and screeching to warn you to stay away from their nest with eggs or newly-hatched chicks.
Experts recommend you don’t fight back or try to run away from the magpie quickly. The main thing is to stay calm as panicking will make the magpie more aggressive and cause more swooping. It is advised that you move away from the area slowly.
HOW TO AVOID SWOOPING
– If your usual route is near a magpie’s nesting area, try to change your route for the breeding season
– Protect your face by covering up with sunglasses and a broad-brimmed hat. You could also hold an open umbrella above your head
– If you know an area has swooping magpies, put up signs to warn other residents to avoid the area
Sources: The Australian Museum, PETA Australia
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