The lord mayor of Brisbane, Australia, says the city has been "shocked to its absolute core" by the death of a 5-month-old girl, triggered by a bird attack. The mother was cradling the infant in her arms at a park on Sunday when a magpie—a protected bird known to aggressively defend its nests—swooped at them. In an attempt to evade the attack, the mother tripped and fell, injuring the infant identified as Mia, per CNN. She was taken to Queensland Children's Hospital in critical condition but later died, per the Australian. "Even as paramedics this is an incredibly rare and tragic event to get called to," Tom Holland of the Queensland Ambulance Service said at a press conference, describing a "very emotive scene." Brisbane's Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner said such a tragedy "has never happened before" and "probably was impossible to have predicted," per 9News.
"No words can begin to describe the torture [parents] Jacob and Simone are going through" following a "blow no one could ever imagine," reads a GoFundMe page set up by Mia's aunts. It had raised nearly $80,000 as of Tuesday morning to cover funeral costs and allow the parents to take time off work to grieve. At least one person had filed an official complaint about the swooping magpie in recent weeks, per the Courier-Mail. Though the bird has since been removed from the park, per 9News, some are questioning why the City Council didn't act sooner. More than one in 10 people swooped by magpies are injured, according to Australia's Magpie Alert website. But the council says it's "working towards a natural balance as the guiding management principle," per CNN. Magpies have protected status in their native Australia, where it's illegal to kill the species or interfere with chicks or eggs. (Read more animal attack stories.)