Dangerous, swooping birds will be removed from parks and streets in Brisbane after a magpie attack led to the death of a baby girl.
Five-month-old Mia suffered fatal head injuries when her mother tripped and fell on her while trying to escape from a swooping magpie earlier this month.
Brisbane Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner hopes pedestrians and cyclists will be safer after an independent review found the council must improve the way it deals with aggressive birds.
It said council had received five other reports of magpie swoopings in Glindemann Park before the attack that resulted in Mia’s death.
The review also found that while warning signs were present, they weren’t close enough to where the attacks occurred.
Under new guidelines, experts will be called in to assess aggressive birds and decide if they need to be moved.
“This will occur whenever a bird demonstrates dangerous behaviour and restricting public access to their nesting area isn’t practical,” the council said on Tuesday.
“Whenever a swooping incident results in serious injury, experts will be called in.”
Mr Schrinner has also ordered the council to develop new high-visibility, location-specific warning signs after expressing concerns that the existing ones aren’t effective.
“What the report makes clear is that council needs stronger procedures to ensure experts are called in earlier and these birds are relocated,” he said.
“Some people will believe swooping is just a natural response and these birds should be left alone. But in urban areas, like in parks and along footpaths, we have to always put people first.”
The council will have to rely on bird experts who hold state government permits because it is illegal for council officers to remove native animals such as magpies under Queensland’s Nature Conservation Act.
The death of baby Mia sparked an extraordinary outpouring of support for her grieving parents, Jacob and Simone, with a GoFundMe appeal raising more than $140,000.
The first-time parents were out walking together when the magpie swooped them, causing Simone to fall. Mia was strapped to her body in a baby carrier at the time.
Mia died later in hospital from severe head injuries.