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[WATCH] Flamingo shot at Ħal Far, BirdLife demands action from government

BirdLife accuses Maltese government of adopting a nonchalant attitude with promises of reducing fines for poaching still being considered

Matthew Vella
24 September 2017, 10:53am
A Flamingo, a protected bird at law, was shot Sunday morning in Ħal Far, BirdLife Malta reported.

Police and BirdLife personnel 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 said the incident was “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, said the incident was 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.

BLM said this was 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.”

Matthew Vella is executive editor at MaltaToday.
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