Maggie's saviour braves heat, barbed wire to save the day
ANDREW Benson stood in the gruelling heat for more about an hour to save the life of a young magpie.
On Monday, the Fiesta Rentals worker was moving the truck from the back of the business to the street when he saw a distressed magpie caught on the barbed wire fence.
He stopped the truck and raised his arm to the fence to try and untangle the bird, but decided against it in case he hurt it further.
So he just decided to hold its weight for a while.
"At the start it was flapping like crazy and I put my hand out and it was standing on my hand biting and clawing me," he said.
"After about 10 minutes it decided I wasn't trying to attack it. and it understood I was just trying to get the feet and weight of the wire."
After about 30 minutes of standing in the midday sun, he called out to his mother Michele who also works at the Mackay company.
"I thought he had an accident with the truck," Ms Benson said.
"So I raced out to see if he was okay and here he is standing up holding this magpie."
Ms Benson called the RSPCA, a vet who then directed the call to Fauna Rescue Whitsundays.
In the meantime, Mr Benson continued to stand in the hot son, seemingly unaffected by the heat.
"I was trying to rest on the barbed wire for a while - one hand was trying to hold the bird the other was trying to hold my weight. I was just trying to find the spaces in between.
After about 40 minutes standing, Denise Sharp from the service arrived at the Victoria St business to assist in removing the bird.
"When we arrived we were absolutely amazed there was this young man standing up on a chair, in the hot sun, holding a juvenile magpie that had been caught in barbed wire," she said.
She took over and was able to twist the bird around the wire so the skin could come out of the barb.
Ms Sharp said the magpie had suffered a wound to the wing and it was significantly bruised.
She said Mr Benson then left shortly after and seemed very modest over what he had just done.
"I've been doing wildlife rescue for many years and it's one that will stick in my mind," she said. "People will always ring, but not very often people will go to those extremes."
But Mr Benson, a self proclaimed animal lover said anyone would do it. "I think if anyone saw a bird distressed and in a lot of pain it would stop."
The injured magpie is now receiving care and is on a course of antibiotics and is expected to be released in a couple of weeks.