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Wild birds found wrapped in festive tinsel cling to life

Newshub logoNewshub 8/01/2019 Zane Small
Watch: Meet Edgar, New Zealand's friendliest magpie. © Image - Supplied / SPCA; Video - Newshub Watch: Meet Edgar, New Zealand's friendliest magpie.

About a dozen wild birds have been found "decorated" with festive tinsel which has left some of them in a critical condition.

The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SCPA) is currently investigating the case, spokesperson Jessie Gilchrist told Newshub on Tuesday.


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She said reports continue to come in of the wild birds being found in Wellington's Kilbirnie area, about 3km from the CBD.

"We don't yet know if this is an act of intentional cruelty, but the birds are suffering so we're speaking out in the hopes that it stops," Ms Gilchrist said.

In some incidents, birds have been found deceased, she said, while some birds were brought into the SPCA in a "very bad condition".

The SPCA Wellington Centre appealed to the public last week for help in solving the case. The centre said on Facebook they've been unable to identify who is responsible.

"The birds have all been 'decorated' with tinsel, ribbons, bits of wire and rings," Ms Gilchrist told Newshub.

In images the SPCA shared with Newshub, one bird can be seen with red tinsel attached to its neck. Another image shows how tightly the tinsel is wrapped, which could impair its breathing. 

a close up of a stuffed animal © Provided by MediaWorks NZ Limited

"The birds are often unable to move naturally with these decorations and they are preventing them from flying, eating and drinking," Ms Gilchrist said.

"This situation is ongoing and all relate to the same three streets in Kilbirnie."

Should you find a bird in a similar situation, Ms Gilchrist says call the SPCA for advice on what to do.

She said the organisation received 25-30 calls from the community worried about these birds over the festive season.

When the next festive season rolls around, Ms Gilchrist said she hopes there won't be any similar incidents and that the culprits realise their actions were wrong.

"We would like the situation to be resolved by then, but will continue to educate the public about the appropriate way to treat birds if necessary."

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