Online fame is available to anyone, these days. With nearly a million followers, Molly the Magpie‘s owners share pictures of Molly and her canine friend, Peggy, on Instagram. And they recently shared a photo of the animals, captioned, “You will always have a special place in my heart ❤️.”

But the ominous tone of the post, with the two friends gazing sadly into each other’s eyes, left some Molly and Peggy-stans worried: Had something happened to one or both of the animals? As well as their online popularity, Peggy and Molly’s friendship is the subject of books, calendars, and merch. “Is everything alright?❤️,” Boston51961 commented on the scary July Instagram post. “This is really ominous,” GraceEllenBeale added. “Has someone passed away?”

Molly the Magpie is fine

via Peggy and Molly/Instagram

A few days after their concerning update, Juliette Wells and Reece Mortensen, Molly and Peggy’s owners, cleared up the confusion: The two animals are alive and well they shared in a post, which said the following,

Despite headlines from media outlets about “ Fears around Molly the magpie “ MOLLY PEGGY & RUBY ARE HEALTHY HAPPY AND LOVING LIFE . Well we certainly do know how to get in the headlines 😅 We will continue to spread happiness and positivity as we do. Any news about these beautiful animals will come directly from us so just be careful what you read ❤️”

via Maggie and Polly/Instagram

Molly the Magpie’s followers had some reason to wonder about their favorite online bird. Juliette Wells and Reece Mortensen live in Australia. Molly, whom Wells and Mortensen rescued as a chick, is classified as a wild animal. It’s illegal in Australia to profit from a wild animal, and earlier in 2024, Australian wildlife authorities took the bird for six weeks over Molly’s viral success.

After public outcry, Wells and Mortensen were awarded a special license, and Molly returned home. A veterinarian declared the magpie a pet, and said the bird could not live in the wild, anyway.

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