Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Hurt magpie smuggled onto London to Edinburgh train in handbag

Pie
Image caption The magpie was cared for by the Scottish SPCA before being returned to the wild

An injured magpie which a holidaymaker smuggled onto a London to Edinburgh train in her handbag has been released back into the wild.

The elderly woman saw the fledgling being attacked by crows when she was visiting family in London and took him in as he was too young to feed himself.

She was still concerned for the magpie when she was to return to Scotland and decided to take him with her.

She contacted the Scottish SPCA and it was treated in Clackmannanshire.

Hand-feeding

The woman from Edinburgh, who wishes to remain anonymous, said: "The magpie was very traumatised when I found him.

Image caption The magpie travelled by handbag in the train from London to Edinburgh

"I knew he was too young to feed himself so I took him in and began hand-feeding him. I even nicknamed him Pie.

"When I was due to leave he still wasn't self-feeding, so I cleared out my handbag and popped him inside.

"I don't think anyone on the train realised I had a baby magpie with me.

"People have always said I'm eccentric and I'm sure they'd think that even more so if they knew about this."

Colin Seddon, of the Scottish SPCA, said: "Usually we advise people to leave fledglings alone, but in this case the magpie was being attacked by other birds and had sustained injuries.

"We'd recommend anyone who finds a bird in need of help to contact an animal rescue organisation such as ourselves for advice and assistance.

"While it was certainly unusual to take the magpie on the train, this lady had taken very good care of him and it's clear she must care a great deal about birds."

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