AN injured bird which stowed away in a passenger’s handbag on a train from London to Edinburgh has been released back into the wild after making a full recovery.
An elderly lady found the young magpie while visiting relatives in the capital, and took him with her amid fears the bird wouldn’t survive alone.
The lady then took the magpie with her on the train north, keeping him in her handbag during the journey.
Speaking to the SSPCA, the anonymous lady said: “The magpie was very traumatised when I found him. 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.”
The SSPCA’s Wildlife Rescue Centre in Clackmannanshire took in the bird, and nursed him back to health.
Centre manager Colin Seddon 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.”