• Sydney man jailed for killing and attempting to cook ibis

    August 11, 2023


    A Sydney man has been jailed for killing an ibis and attempting to cook it only months after he was stopped catching another bird.

    White ibis with black beak walking through park

    60-year-old Maroubra man Tom Quach pleaded guilty on Wednesday in Waverley Local Court to torturing an animal to death, two counts of committing cruelty on an animal and three counts of harming an animal.

    He was also facing drugs and theft charges.

    Quach was charged in May after he caught an ibis in a public park before stuffing it in his backpack and taking it home.

    When police arrived at his home, they found the bird decapitated and Quach told them he was attempting to cook it.

    It was the second time in as many months that Quach came to the attention of authorities because of his treatment of an ibis.

    Witness footage of Sydney man Tom Quach trying to grab an ibis and stuff it into hiis bag and members of public stopping him
    Footage went viral of Quach attempting to stuff an ibis in his bag at a different Sydney park earlier this year (image: NSW Police)

    In March witnesses filmed him tying rope around the feet and neck of an ibis he caught at a different park.

    At the time, police said that members of the public intervened, and the ibis was able to fly off, although it had a broken beak.

    Video footage of that incident went viral, and Quach was soon identified; police then went to his Maroubra home and arrested him.

    When handing down the verdict this week, Magistrate Price said his treatment of the birds was disturbing.

    “You can’t just treat animals like that,” Magistrate Price said.

    His lawyer argued a drug rehabilitation would be better suited to Quach, given he “has a very serious drug issue”.

    Magistrate Price disagreed and sentenced Quach to six months imprisonment.

    He will be eligible for release on February 8, 2024.


    Like all native species, ibis are protected under the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974.

    This means that any harm or interference with these birds can lead to legal consequences.

    The maximum penalty for harming an ibis is 2 years imprisonment and/or a $22,000 fine for an individual.

    In the case of a corporation, the fine can be as high as $110,000.

    Ibis bird facts

    There are 28 different species of ibis found around the world.

    They are affectionately referred to as ‘bin chickens’ in Australia.

    They are found in warm regions, including tropical to subtropical areas.

    Ibises are gregarious birds that live, travel, and breed in flocks; when in flight, they form diagonal lines or V-formations, which decreases wind resistance for trailing birds.

    Ibises have curved, slender bills that they use to probe into shallow water, mud, or grass when foraging.


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