New Zealand firefighter shares video of his new best pal — a rescued baby magpie named 'Swoop'

Most of us don't think of a bird as a cuddly pet, but Swoop the snuggly magpie didn't care what humans think. After he was rescued by New Zealander Matt Owens, the baby bird became a beloved part of the family—the family being Owens and his cat, Mowgli.

"It was just sitting there bleeding, sort of unable to walk properly and it looked like it had been abandoned by its mum so I just picked it up and decided to take it home," Owens told Newshub. The timing of finding Swoop couldn't have been better. Owens' dad had just been diagnosed with terminal cancer, and the bond he formed taking care of Swoop gave Owens an extra dose of love and comfort.

Mowgli wasn't sure about the new family member at first, but soon took to Swoop and the two became fur-feather friends. The Dodo recently shared a video on Facebook highlighting Owens, Swoop, and Mowgli's story, and it's unbelievably adorable.


There's more to the story, though. Owens documented Swoop and Mowgli's story on Instagram, and in February, he posted an update on Swoop's life:

"When I found wee swoop as an injured baby and decided to raise him/her. I always had the intention of getting him/her healthy and capable of looking after him/herself in the wild. It seems that time has finally arrived. Swoop came to me when I found out about my dads illness and Ironically now dad has left us, swoop has also decided to leave the nest, I'm sure he/she will be out the with a new family or partner and I'm sure he/she will be back one day. Maybe with babies :O What an amazing experience it has been looking after this beautiful creature that bought me so much joy at a time I needed it the most. Ill miss ya buddy ❤️ I'll continue to post memories from time to time for all you swoop lovers out there. :) love, Dad."

Owens has since adopted another bird named Niwa. He does still share photos of Mowgli and Swoop, though, as fond memories.

How sweet is this?

And this?

Come on...

You never know when life will bring you exactly what you need, whether you're a man or a bird or a cat. Best wishes to Scoop in his/her new life beyond the Owens nest. And thanks for sharing your sweet little family and giving us all the uplifting dose of sweetness we could all use right now.

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When a pet is admitted to a shelter it can be a traumatizing experience. Many are afraid of their new surroundings and are far from comfortable showing off their unique personalities. The problem is that's when many of them have their photos taken to appear in online searches.

Chewy, the pet retailer who has dedicated themselves to supporting shelters and rescues throughout the country, recognized the important work of a couple in Tampa, FL who have been taking professional photos of shelter pets to help get them adopted.

"If it's a photo of a scared animal, most people, subconsciously or even consciously, are going to skip over it," pet photographer Adam Goldberg says. "They can't visualize that dog in their home."

Adam realized the importance of quality shelter photos while working as a social media specialist for the Humane Society of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

"The photos were taken top-down so you couldn't see the size of the pet, and the flash would create these red eyes," he recalls. "Sometimes [volunteers] would shoot the photos through the chain-link fences."

That's why Adam and his wife, Mary, have spent much of their free time over the past five years photographing over 1,200 shelter animals to show off their unique personalities to potential adoptive families. The Goldbergs' wonderful work was recently profiled by Chewy in the video above entitled, "A Day in the Life of a Shelter Pet Photographer."

via Gage Skidmore/Flickr and Terry Morgan/Flickr

Senator Ted Cruz and a kangaroo.

Conservative media in the United States has painted Australia as a state on the brink of authoritarianism due to strict COVID-19 protections in some parts of the country. These news outlets appear to be using the country as an example of what can happen in America if liberal politicians go unchecked.

Fox News' Tucker Carlson ran a story on Australia earlier this month claiming the country "looks a lot like China did at the beginning of the pandemic." He ended it by saying that "what's happening in Australia might be instructive to us in the United States" and that things can "change very quickly" and become "dystopian and autocratic."

Carlson provides zero reasons why Americans should be fearful of becoming an autocratic country due to COVID-19, beyond the idea that "things can change very quickly" so his appeals sound a lot more like fear-mongering than genuine concern.

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