Cuddly magpie terrorises town in Switzerland
There's a terror on the loose in the town of Kollbrunn in Canton Zurich, with the creature known for confronting people, invading the local school and trying to enter residents’ houses. However, before we all grab our pitchforks and make the drive over there, the creature in question is, of all things, a magpie.
Town in Switzerland home to a very friendly bird
Over the last few weeks, according to 20 Minuten, authorities in the small town on the River Töss have received a number of reports of people being confronted by a single magpie. These incidents included the bird sitting on the heads of some children at the local school, trying to infiltrate the school and “cuddling” up to commuters as they boarded trains at the station.
Local resident Domenico Messina told ZuriToday that he “was walking when suddenly a magpie swooped down on me. At first, I thought the bird was trying to attack me." However, it soon became clear that the animal simply wanted to cosy up to the man - although it did give him a nip from time to time.
Teachers at a local school annoyed with cuddly magpie
"The magpie has no respect for people and seeks contact", noted the head of the local school Franziska Burgener. She said that her primary school children already consider the bird to be their pet mascot after it was seen cuddling up to them, despite the efforts of teachers.
Speaking to 20 Minuten, Martina Schybli from the Swiss Ornithological Institute said that normally, magpies shy away from humans, but this one seemed openly curious - likely a sign that the bird was raised by humans. To placate any fears, she added that they “are not aware of any attacks by magpies" in Switzerland and that the bird can simply be shooed away so long as it's not injured.
Much to children's dismay, local gamekeeper wants magpie shot
The magpie has also baffled the local emergency services, with gamekeeper Siegfried Ruoss telling 20 Minuten that, "I've been the head of the hunt for 50 years, but I've never experienced anything like it." Because of its aggressive behaviour, Ruoss said that "if the magpie had been outside the village, I would have shot it."
This news did not go down well with the local children, with one telling the newspaper: “Why do you want to shoot the animal? I see no reason to. The animal is so peaceful!"
The bird's last sighting, according to 20 Minuten, was when it hopped onto a scooter run by the local postal service. Eyewitnesses say the postman seemed to appreciate the company, and the two drove away together.