Close watch on park after magpie attack
A TRIP to the park could have changed the life of Rockhampton two-year-old Joseph Sommerfeld when a magpie went for his eye, according to his mum Jennifer.
The toddler was attacked in Rigarlsford Park last week and the incident boils Jennifer's blood.
Rockhampton Regional Council officers have since addressed the issue and are monitoring the park twice a day.
"It shouldn't have happened," Jennifer said.
"Council knew people were getting hurt but they didn't do anything."
The magpie attacked her son's eyelid and blood dripped from the wound.
Jennifer said when she took to Facebook to let others know about the incident, she soon learnt the spot was notorious for magpie attacks.
"I would've thought it was council's responsibility to make sure this didn't happen," she said.
While her son received no serious injuries, she is determined to make sure no one else is attacked.
"I just don't want people to get hurt," she said.
Jennifer said there were at least four recent magpie attacks at Rigarlsford Park and another child was attacked on the same day.
"This magpie is vicious," she said.
"He wasn't swooping - he was attacking."
Jennifer contacted Rockhampton Regional Council and worked with Councillor Neil Fisher to address to the issue.
While Jennifer said her aim was to make people aware about the danger, she has achieved real change.
Cr Fisher also took the issue to the council's Recreation and Sport Committee meeting to address concerns.
Councillors and chief executive Evan Pardon discussed protocols and policies they had within council laws to address the public safety issue.
Councillors were considering closing the playground area at the park due to the magpie, but council officers have since been unable to locate the bird.
While councillors agreed the park should be closed because officers were unable to catch the aggressive bird, the park has stayed open in the magpie's absence.
Cr Fisher said council had a "major problem" but it seemed to have solved itself.
"There's a protocol so council can act on it," Cr Fisher said.
"We've got to do something we just can't allow this to drag on."
Cr Fisher said he walked through the park but hadn't seen the magpie in the past few days.
Council officers are monitoring the park every morning and afternoon to ensure no one else is injured.
Late yesterday afternoon two magpies were spotted in the park but they were deemed not dangerous after officers watched the birds and spoke to families in the park.
Signage scattered across the park encourages people to take precautions and to contact the council if they are swooped by a magpie.
Known magpie swooping locations across the region have been identified as the corner of Carlton St and Yaamba Rd in Norman Gardens, Woodville St in Wandal, cnr of Glenmore Road and Fraser St in Park Avenue, Yeppoon foreshore, Rigarlsford Park, Kershaw Gardens, Norman Rd near the Baptist church and Upper Dawson Rd.