Conditions apply in return of famous magpie to family

Fraser Barton |

Molly will be reunited with canine pals Peggy and Ruby but only after strict conditions are met.
Molly will be reunited with canine pals Peggy and Ruby but only after strict conditions are met.

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

Molly had been surrendered to Queensland authorities by her Gold Coast family in March following complaints over the lack of a permit.

Juliette Wells and Reece Mortensen rescued the bird when she fell from a nest in 2020, before she formed a happy and wholesome relationship with dogs Peggy and Ruby.

Premier Steven Miles said the Department of Environment, Science and Innovation was working with the couple to secure a permit and bring Molly home with strict conditions to assure the best outcomes for her 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, the couple can no longer receive commercial gain from the bird or her image and will need to do wildlife carer training.

They will also need to advocate for public education of native wildlife and work with the department to ensure Molly receives 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.

Ms Wells and Mr Mortensen said it was great news that they would officially be Molly’s carers once formal approval given in the next few days.

“We are so grateful and can’t wait to have Molly home,” the couple said in a statement. 

“We have followed the protocols and advice from the relevant departments and so once the paperwork is in place we will be able to bring Molly home!”

The couple did not comment on the future of their social media page and the money gained from it.