Smart An­i­mals

Some so­lu­tions to an­i­mal prob­lems work, but oth­ers don’t

Reader's Digest Asia Pacific - - Front Page - CA­ROLE PRITCHARD

My hus­band Ron and I live on an acre of ground ad­join­ing bushland in Queens­land. We are mag­pie lovers and feed some of these birds once a day.

A cou­ple of years ago, af­ter re­turn­ing home from the su­per­mar­ket, we drove into our garage and opened the door into the house. On re­turn­ing to the rear of the car to un­load the shop­ping, we saw a mag­pie stand­ing about a me­tre away. It showed no fear of us at all and stood there as if it knew that we could help it.

There was a lot of fish­ing line tan­gled around one of its legs. I called out to Ron, who by now was up­stairs, to bring a lit­tle bit of meat. While I hand fed the mag­pie, my hus­band man­aged to grab hold of it. I raced up­stairs to fetch a pair of my small em­broi­dery scis­sors and was able to painstak­ingly snip the twisted fish­ing line away. ‘Mag­gie’ had some dif­fi­culty walk­ing, so ob­vi­ously the fish­ing line had been there for a while. We placed a dish of wa­ter nearby and she stayed around for a few days, eat­ing the meat we gave her and get­ting stronger. Each day we saw an im­prove­ment in her walk­ing abil­ity. Al­though she ini­tially seemed very con­tent to sit on a branch in one of our trees, af­ter a week, she fi­nally flew away home to nearby bushland. We be­lieve the bird ‘knew’ us from a pre­vi­ous time. A while back we had fed a pair of mag­pies, and maybe she had once been one of their young. Need­less to say, we were very pleased with the out­come.

You could earn cash by telling us about the an­tics of unique pets or wildlife. Turn to page 5 for de­tails on how to con­trib­ute.

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