Updated | Four Greater flamingos shot down at Qawra Point

Police arrested and are interogating the hunter who allegedly shot at the flock

The carcasses of the Greater Flamingos that were shot down at Qawra Point
The carcasses of the Greater Flamingos that were shot down at Qawra Point

Updated at 16:15 with hunting lobbies' statements

BirdLife Malta said that its volunteers have on Saturday morning witnessed four Greater flamingos being shot down off Qawra Point. 

It said that a bird watcher witnessed a flock of flamingos being shot down and that they called the police, who arrested and are interrogating the hunter in question. BirdLife urged the police “to use all their resources to solve this case.”

Police said that they arrested a 23-year-old man from Gżira and he has been taking to the Police Headquarters in Floriana for questioning. It also stated that a unit from the Armed Forces has retrieved four flamingo carcasses, three from out at sea and one on land.

The Ornis Committee, the consultative body on hunting regulations, had proposed in 2016 that hunting and trapping should be prohibited at Qawra Point.

MaltaToday spoke to Birdlife CEO Mark Sultana, who confirmed that all that remains is a political decision on the matter. “We were offered a guardianship deal for the Qawra Point but we will not accept it, until the area is designated as a hunting free zone.”

He added that the area is very close to the Salina reserve, and that hunting illegalities are common.

READ MORE: Court denies bail to 23-year-old hunter arrested for shooting down four flamingos over Qawra Point


FKNK: No place for criminals within the Federation

The hunting lobby, FKNK, said that such criminals, have no place in a civilized society, and are not part of the community of its members. It said that from the information it gathered, it results that the perpetrator is not a member of the Federation.

It said that it will keep on working, both locally, and on a European and International level, in favour of the socio-cultural tradition and the sustainability of hunting and trapping on the maltese islands.

“The FKNK was to send a warning that the Federation, as well as the thousands of hunters and trappers under its wing, will never allow any delinquent to tarnish FKNK and its members,” said FKNK.


Kaċċaturi San Ubertu confirms Zammit was a past member and expects maximum punishment

The other hunting lobby, Kaċċaturi San Ubertu condemned the act and said that similar actions only harm law abiding hunters. It stated that Zammit was a member of the Federation for a year, but he was expelled following a similar incident a few months ago.

“Kaċċaturi San Ubertu warns as well that any person that blatantly disregards the law is expelled from in line with this organization's principles and will not be able to renew the hunting licence.”

It said that it practices the principle of zero tolerance towards similar abuse and said it expects that such offences are to be punishable according to the maximum allowed by law.