This morning another protected bird was shot, this time a Flamingo. The incident happened early this morning in Ħal Far. BirdLife Malta and the Police were called on site by a person who witnessed the bird being shot at and then falling some distance from where it was hit.
BirdLife Malta’s CEO Mark Sultana described this as outrageous and disgusting. “To make things worse the Government seems to be adopting a nonchalant attitude with promises of reducing fines still being considered. We demand action on behalf of all those who love nature. We ask the general public to show their concern and ask them to support us today more than ever.”
After being retrieved, the juvenile Greater Flamingo was handed to the Police who delivered the bird to the vet. Unfortunately the bird had lost a lot of blood from a completely fractured right wing and nothing could be done to save it. Due to its severe gunshot injuries the vet had no other option but to put it down.
BirdLife Malta’s Conservation Manager Nicholas Barbara, who was on site with the Police, described this incident as disgusting and unfair especially after two other Flamingos were recently saved after they got stranded. “This Flamingo is a different bird than the two birds retrieved a few weeks ago and which recently attracted a lot of attention when one of them landed at Għadira Bay amongst swimmers.”
This is the tenth injured protected bird retrieved by BirdLife Malta this autumn while various others have been seen carrying injuries from gunshots. This is just the tip of the iceberg making it one of the worst autumn hunting seasons in the past recent years.
BirdLife Malta calls for an improved enforcement drive while once again asking the Government to set up as soon as possible a Wildlife Crime Unit within the Malta Police Force.
BirdLife Malta is also presently crowdfunding through http://www.zaar.com.mt/isavebirds.
Read the Maltese version of the press release here. You can also watch the footage from this morning’s retrieval of the Flamingo and the bird at the vet below.
LATER ON…Following this morning’s incident of a shot juvenile Greater Flamingo recovered from Ħal Far (above press release refers), BirdLife Malta has some time ago retrieved a second shot Flamingo, this time from Marsaskala. BirdLife Malta insists with its call for action from the Maltese Government. This second injured Flamingo retrieved in a day, this time an adult, becomes the 11th known shot protected bird this autumn hunting season and it is being kept under observation after it was also confirmed shot by the veterinarian. You can watch the footage of this second Flamingo shot in one day here.