The devastated aunts of a baby who died after her mother tried to protect her from a swooping magpie have described the feelings of torture the parents have been left with.
Mia was in her mother’s arms when a magpie swooped at them at a Brisbane park on Sunday.
The five-month-old suffered critical injuries when her mother fell during her efforts to dodge the bird. Mia died in hospital.
Relatives have launched a Gofundme campaign to raise money to cover Mia’s funeral costs and give her mother, identified only as Simone, and her father, Jacob, time to process their loss.
“Mia’s arrival made Jacob and Simone’s lives complete, they constantly doted over her, showered her with love, and shared her for all their loved ones to adore,” extended family members wrote.
They said the accident sparked by the magpie attack, in Glindemann Park at Holland Park West, had shattered the hearts of everyone in their family.
“No words can begin to describe the torture Jacob and Simone are going through. A life cut so short, much sooner than any one of us expected. Mia was and forever will be the light of Jacob and Simone’s lives.”
Those behind the fundraiser identified themselves as Katie, Sophie, Claudia and Steph – all sisters of Mia’s parents.
They said Jacob and Simone had not asked for anything but sparing them the burden of funeral costs and the pressure to return to work would give them the space to grieve. “We love you both Jacob and Simone, and will forever love you Mia … Fly high baby girl,” they wrote.
The campaign has so far raised more than $43,000 towards its $50,000 goal.
Brisbane’s lord mayor, Adrian Schrinner, will address the issue of magpies at a press conference on Tuesday, amid reports that one resident who uses the same park had complained about an overly aggressive bird.
Sean Dooley from BirdLife Australia told the ABC that while only the male magpies swoop, and only 10% of males do swoop, “the consequences, especially when people are caught unaware, can be truly terrifying and devastating”.
Dooley said swooping season ran from July to December, with a peak in September.
A report will be prepared for the coroner.