20 birds dead and family devastated by Curra carnage
GYMPIE Regional Council is trying to pin down what kind of animal was responsible for killing a Curra couple's pet birds last weekend.
Paul and Pam Baldwin were visiting family when Mr Baldwin received a stomach-churning text from his neighbour.
"Are you alone Paul?" the message read.
The news that came next has had Mrs Baldwin in tears ever since.
More than 20 pet birds, kept in a fenced-off aviary, are believed to have been attacked by dogs.
A neighbour who had been feeding the birds every second day arrived at the rural property to find the mess around 5.30pm on Saturday.
Four cages holding more than $2000 worth of birds, were torn apart.
Steel bars and metal mesh fencing had been ripped apart and the cages thrown around in order to get at the birds.
Just one bird survived - it was hiding in the roof of an upturned cage.
Another was spotted in a nearby tree.
Included in the heartbreaking loss was their son's galah and corella that had been part of the family for 13 years.
Mr Baldwin said the corella wasn't able fly and he didn't know what had become of it.
The tear-jerking scene extended up to 10m from the aviary where galah feathers were strewn across the grass.
Numerous cockatiels, including three chicks, a princess parrot and another bird that belonged to their daughter and was valued at around $500 were also lost.
When the Baldwins arrived home all that was left was feathers, destroyed cages and what looked to be entry and exit points used by the dogs.
"It's the last thing we wanted to come home to," a choked up Mr Baldwin said.
"Pam came down (to the aviary) and she broke up. I cried myself, too. Everything was damaged and gone."
Mrs Baldwin, who has not been able to bring herself to look at the aviary again, was too upset to comment.
Mr Baldwin said he and his wife had kept birds for most of their 46-year marriage.
He said on three previous occasions, domestic dogs had gotten into the birds and Mr Baldwin had caught one running off with a bird in its mouth.
They had lost three pet birds in the past to the dogs and their chooks had been targeted too.
Gympie Regional Council employees attended the property yesterday and set a trap and surveillance camera near the aviary in an attempt to capture the culprits.