A juvenile magpie found with a nail lodged through its skull is recovering at the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital.
The injured bird, named Tinsel, was found near Banksia Beach with an 8cm nail penetrating through the sinus and upper beak; injuries which are likely to have been sustained from a close-range shot from a high-pressure nail gun.
Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital senior wildlife veterinarian Dr Amber Gillett was able to successfully remove the nail and said that Tinsel was lucky to survive the cruel attack.
"Juvenile magpies, particularly those that people may have been feeding, are very inquisitive animals and I suspect that is why the culprit was able to get close enough to shoot the bird," Dr Amber said.
"I cannot understand what possesses people to inflict such acts of cruelty on our wildlife. If the nail had penetrated 5mm to the left it would have gone straight through the eye and likely killed the bird - Tinsel is lucky to be alive."
It's still early days but Tinsel is responding well to treatment and Dr Amber hopes the young magpie will make a full recovery.
"Tinsel is looking good and eating well, and will go to a wildlife carer soon before eventual release back into the wild," Dr Amber said.
The incident has been reported to the appropriate authorities. To find out more about the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital and how you can donate to Christmas patients like Tinsel, please visit: www.wildlifewarriors.org.au