‘These creeps that did this ... they don’t have a heart’
A violent carjacking at the weekend of two beloved wildlife rescue carers has left them 'broken' and considering winding their service down.
In a social media post on March 28, Pelican and Seabird Rescue's Hammy Forrest and Sally George shared they had been "rammed" by another vehicle at a red light in Tingalpa and their vehicle "Ruggy' had been stolen from them along with a juvenile magpie on its way to be released.
Following the desperate flurry of social media posts to try and track down "Ruggy" and "maggie" there has been an outpouring on social media of grief, shock and anger as the full impact of the attack unfolded.
In an emotional Facebook post, Ms Forrest told followers on Monday that although their vehicle 'Ruggy' had been recovered the non-for-profit organisation would "begin the wind down process".
"The car has been stripped bare ..." the PaSR post said.
"While our little but pro active organisation has endured many an environmental crisis this event & being able to recover from it has already taken it toll. It is with grave sadness that PaSR will begin the wind down process. The last 17 years has been filled with learning, emotion, good & bad times but the support has been given unconditionally & for that we thank you."
Ms Forrest said today the attack "was very surreal and I really think we are just a bit broken by it".
"It's just very, very raw right now. The car was pretty brand new and it was decked out with everything we needed for rescues," she said.
"Most of what we had was equipment we got through grants."
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But the most heart-wrenching loss is one much closer home.
"I can't even bring myself to think about losing the maggie. He was just sweetest little bird. He was going back to his sibling and Mum and Dad," Ms Forrest said.
"The lady who rang us to get him the week before .. I finally worked up the courage to ring her yesterday and she was crying on the phone .. for us and for maggie."
Ms Forrest said the outpouring of support and grief over the impact of the carjacking on PaSR had been overwhelming.
"We just go about our business - you just do it.
"That little magpie - it took four trips to Redcliffe to get him, it was a champion rescue and it he was really special. These creeps that did this, they don't have any heart and they wouldn't give a s… about what they've done …. that's very clear … but he was a special bird.
"He came to us because of a human problem - our rubbish - with a leg entanglement and he had a little bit of scaring and was in rehab for a week … but he was going home."
"It's just so raw what's happened."
"We don't do the cute and cuddly creatures … our work is strictly from rescue to rehab and release but just because you don't get to kiss and cuddle them doesn't mean to say you love them any less."
Ms Forrest said she was uncertain about the future of PaSR or exactly what had happend to "maggie" if he had been released by the offenders or had died.
"Every time I read another post about how much everyone doesn't want us to close up .. I just don't know and I don't know how to thank everyone for their support."
"We have been so overwhelmed. It took me a day to read all the comments and I just howled the whole way through - we are totally overwhelmed by the support".
RSPCA Queensland's Michael Beatty said the incredible work of PaSR meant the world to so many people and animals.
Mr Beatty said if PaSR could not continue to operate they "would be sorely missed".
"They do an amazing job and we've been involved with them for nearly 20 years."
"I really hope it doesn't come to that."
Mr Beatty urged community to support PaSR in any way it could to keep operating.
"Maybe people might be able to rally to the cause, get the vehicle repairs and get some new equipment," he said.
Ms Forrest also urged anyone confronted with a similar situation of being rammed to stay in their car.
"Do not get out of it …. and if you are isolated just go … crime will escalate because of this (COVID-19)," she said.
To support PaSR visit their Facebook page here.
A police spokeswoman said seven people were charged in relation to the attack.
- A 21-year-old man from Maryborough will face 24 charges relating to various different offences including - unlawful use of a motor vehicle (UUMV), possess dangerous drugs (poss DD), obstruct police, robbery, dangerous operation of a motor vehicle, unlicensed driving and has been remanded in Custody to reappear in Cleveland Mag Crt on May 25.
- A 25-year-old woman from Caboolture was charged with UUMV, possess DD, possess drug utensil and will appear in the Caboolture Magistrates Court on July 8, 2020.
- A 25-year-old woman from Caboolture faces unlawful possession of a motor vehicle (UPMV), receiving tainted property, possess DD and possess drug utensil charges and will face Caboolture Magistrates Court on July 8, 2020.
- A 22-year-old man from Caboolture faces UPMV and receiving tainted property and will face Caboolture Magistrates on July 8, 2020.
- A 25-year-old man also from Caboolture will face the Caboolture Magistrates Court on July 8, 2020 charged with one count of UPMV.
- And two juveniles were charged. A 15-year-old boy and a 15-year-old girl both from Logan were charged with two counts of UPMV Child Under 18 in the Wynnum Children's Court.
WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING ON FACEBOOK
Facebook supporters rallied with tears and heart emojis when Hammy posted the beloved organisation would wind-down as a result of the attack.
Helen Coenraad said she was "absolutely gutted for you … your dedication to this cause has always been inspiring. You even got me to hold a pelican once."
RSPCA posted "we are all devastated to say the very least. Thank you for all of your incredible work over the years, you've saved so very many lives".
Rebecca Kopesandy wrote "Oh Hammy if you can get another vehicle donated once this all over, can you restart?" and Michelle Maddox said "I'm absolutely devastated. Truly horrible. You've done so many wonderful things over the years and I'm so proud of your incredible work".
Di Swift: "oh matey, I was so devastated when I heard about this and please please please maggie be OK".
Originally published as 'These creeps that did this ... they don't have a heart'