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Kinchant Dam community mourns beloved Jerry, the magpie goose’s death following suspected attack


It has been a sad week at a North Queensland camp site, after beloved resident and “local celebrity” Jerry, the magpie goose died following a suspected attack.

From lounging on lilos in Kinchant Dam to watching TV with campers, Jerry wasn’t your average bird.

“There are hundreds of wild magpie geese, but he was quite special,” Kinchant Waters proprietor Russell Biggs said.

“He jumped on people’s boats and caravans, I’ve even seen him sitting in an elderly lady’s Winnebago watching TV with her.

“Everyone loved him.”

a close up shot of a magpie goose
Mike Roberts says Jerry was quite unique.(Supplied)

Mr Biggs said when he found Jerry on Wednesday morning, he knew from the bird’s behaviour something was wrong.

Jerry was taken to the vet that afternoon and sadly euthanased.

Mr Biggs was told Jerry had become blind following the suspected attack.

a bird with a twisted necka bird with a twisted neck
Jerry appeared dazed and confused on his last day.(ABC Tropical North: Angel Parsons)

‘Jerry was unique’

The bird’s death has left a hole in the Kinchant Dam community, including among campers whose trips were brightened by the bird’s antics.

“He loved kayaking and playing with the kids,” grey nomad Mike Roberts said.

Mr Roberts stayed at the dam last year and said Jerry “adopted” him and wife Rachel Houghton.

a magpie goose sits on a cushion on a table at a campsitea magpie goose sits on a cushion on a table at a campsite
Jerry loved nestling among the comfortable camp set-ups.(Supplied: Mike Roberts)

“We’ve travelled to a lot of different places and interacted with a lot of animals that have come up to us — caravan park ducks and geese, dogs, horses and cows.

“But Jerry was unique. We were hoping to go back and visit him, it’s very sad.”

a large bird sits atop a camping chair, touching the outstretched hand of a camper sitting beside ita large bird sits atop a camping chair, touching the outstretched hand of a camper sitting beside it
Jerry made himself at home with Mike Roberts and his wife Rachel during their stay at Kinchant Dam.(Supplied: Mike Roberts)

Gabrielle Dicarlantonio is another camper won over by Jerry’s charm.

“He was a bit of a local celebrity at Kinchant Dam,” she said.

“We were there a couple of weekends later, and we were looking for Jerry everywhere, but he was a few sites down, and didn’t come near us.

“So he was very loyal to the family he stays with on the weekend.”

webbed feet can be seen sitting on the sunroof of the caravan. photo taken from underneathwebbed feet can be seen sitting on the sunroof of the caravan. photo taken from underneath
Gabrielle Dicarlantonio thought Jerry had waddled away from their camp, but then she looked up and saw him.(Supplied: Gabrielle Dicarlantonio)

It’s understood the campers who had attacked Jerry were not identified or able to be officially reported.

But those who did meet Jerry will remember the magpie goose, who in many ways behaved like a pet dog.



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