‘Wiggly bottoms’ welcome home magpie media star Molly

Savannah Meacham |

Molly the magpie with Staffordshire terriers Peggy and Ruby at their home on the Gold Coast.
Molly the magpie with Staffordshire terriers Peggy and Ruby at their home on the Gold Coast.

The carers of a magpie, who gained social media fame for his friendship with two dogs, say they’re excited to have the bird returned to them, after a long battle with the  government.

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

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

The Department of Environment, Science and Innovation has now approved a specialised licence and returned Molly to the Gold Coast home.

Molly the magpie with Peggy and Ruby
Molly the magpie formed an unusual relationship with staffies Peggy and Ruby. (HANDOUT/JULIETTE WELLS AND REECE MORTENSEN)

Ms Wells and Mr Mortensen said they, and Molly’s canine friends, were happy to have the magpie home. 

“We have been visualising and looking forward to this day for a while,” they said in a statement. 

“When we arrived home the excited wiggly bottoms were in full force and a few excited noises from Molly.

“We look forward to life settling back down to normal very soon.”

The department found the bird was highly habituated and may have developmental issues meaning it could not be returned to the wild.

The magpie was returned on the condition there is no further commercial gain from the bird, his carers undertake wildlife training and there is ongoing work with the agency to ensure the bird is receiving the best care and enrichment.

“These conditions are standard for all specialised licences held by wildlife carers in Queensland and ensure the best outcome for the bird’s ongoing health and wellbeing,” the department said.

The couple has to take on an advocacy and public education role to ensure other Australians appropriately care for native wildlife as well as the special skills required to do so.