Internet Famous Magpie W/ 2 Mil Followers Seized After Claims It Was Being ‘Kept Unlawfully’

Internet sensation Molly the magpie, who gained a massive online following for its unlikely friendship with an English staffy, has been seized by Queensland authorities after the Department of Environmental Science and Innovation (DESI) claimed the bird was being “kept unlawfully”. The couple behind Molly’s social pages say they’re “devastated” by the outcome, and same tbh.

Peggy and Molly’s Instagram page blew up in 2021, after Gold Coast resident and photographer Juliette Wells snapped a pic of the wild magpie and her dog, Peggy, cuddling up as mates. The pair now have two million followers across social media.

The animals are “best friends” according to Wells. (Source: @peggyandmolly Instagram)

Wells had found the magpie facing almost “certain death” a year earlier, nursing it back to health and naming it ‘Molly’.

Since then, Molly has become a superstar online for having an unusual partnership with Peggy, and domesticated nature in the home of the humans who saved it.

“It went viral, not intentionally, but people did find it very, very happy and very fun,” said Wells’ partner, Reece Mortensen in a Facebook video.

But make no mistake, Molly is definitely still a wild bird.

Which is why Wells and Mortensen did not keep the magpie in their home, or provide any incentive for it to stay there other than good company.

Despite this, Molly appeared to just genuinely enjoy hanging around and kept returning to them.

@babblevt How does a bird learn to bark like that 😂 #dogs #memes #funnyvideos #fypシ #fyp #foryou ♬ original sound – Babble

However, after years of amassing views, two million followers, and creating a book of cute dog and magpie content, Wells and Mortensen have been forced by the DESI to hand Molly over to a valid rehabilitation unit.

“It breaks our heart to make this announcement today. We had to surrender Molly to the Department of Science and Innovation as we had a small group of people constantly complaining to them,” said Wells in a video posted to the Peggy And Molly social pages.

Neither member of the couple possessed the necessary permit to rehabilitate the animal in their home, resulting in accusations that Molly was being “kept unlawfully” from locals and people online,

So after months of battling to keep their non-pet, Molly has now been seized by authorities and will be taken to an official care centre.

“The purpose of rehabilitating native wildlife is to provide care so that the animal can be released back to the wild,” the DESI spokesperson said in a statement.

“When an animal is being rehabilitated, it must be done in a way that minimises humanisation and allows it to exhibit natural instincts and behaviour.”

(Source: @peggyandmolly Instagram)

The DESI also pointed out how the relationship between domesticated animals such as Peggy poses the additional risk of spreading diseases, which is bad for everyone, and behavioural imprinting, which is bad for Molly in the long term.

“Animals from the wild, must stay wild,” said the spokesperson.

In the couple’s video statement, they encouraged their followers to contact the MP of Coomera and the DESI’s director general to launch an investigation into the forced surrender of Molly.

“We are asking why a wild Magpie can’t decide for himself where he wants to live and who he wants to spend his time with?” Wells asked her followers.

The DESI says a suitable facility is currently being searched for to rehabilitate the famous magpie.

Image Credit: @peggyandmolly Instagram/Juliette Wells.