A SUNSHINE Coast wildlife carer is warning families and pet owners to be careful in parks after discovering a magpie had been shot by a BB gun.
The protected bird was found with a broken neck in a park at Aroona on Sunday.
Moffat Beach wildlife carer Diana Meldrum was called to collect the injured bird, which had a pellet in its neck.
"When I got there, the poor thing's neck was hanging down and it could not move," Ms Meldrum said.
"Its mate was beside it and was quite upset when I had to take the injured guy away.
"It would have died if I left it there."
Ms Meldrum took the magpie to the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital, where it has remained under observation.
"They did not want to operate and take the pellet out because there is so much bruising," she said.
"He is hanging in there and we are hoping for a full recovery."
She said shooting wildlife was not only cruel and illegal but also dangerous to other animals and people at the park.
"There are kids and people walking their dogs using this park," she said.
"It is so dangerous to think someone is out there with a BB gun shooting at wild animals."
Ms Meldrum said she had not heard of any other birds injured by a BB gun recently.
Sunshine Coast Police had been notified.