Flamingos shot after leaving Għadira nature reserve

BirdLife Malta says 2018 will have been the worst year for the illegal hunting of protected birds in the past six years, calls for setting up Wildlife Crime Unit

At least one flamingo was shot with another one missing, feared killed
At least one flamingo was shot with another one missing, feared killed

Three Greater Flamingos which are part of a flock currently at the Għadira nature reserve were shot yesterday, shortly after flying out of the reserve.

In a statement, BirdLife Malta said the three flamingos flew out of the reserve yesterday. A few minutes later, “only two of them returned, with one displaying a gunshot injury to its neck”.

The other famingo, BirdLife said, “disappeared and has not returned”.

The NGO said that over the past 12 months, the flamingos were among the most popular birds enjoyed by the thousands of school children, families and tourists that visited the reserve. The public, it said, was flocking to the nature reserve to see the ten flamingos.

Families have been flocking to the nature reserve to see the flamingos, BirdLife said
Families have been flocking to the nature reserve to see the flamingos, BirdLife said

“In a year to be labelled as the worst year for the illegal hunting of protected birds in the past six years, this incident proves the sad reality that illegal hunting in Malta and Gozo is rampant,” BirdLife said.

BirdLife CEO Mark Sultana said it was disheartening to know that “people who are being given the privilege to go out in the countryside with loaded shotguns for their enjoyment can yet be disrespectful towards society”.

“We are aware that many hunters would deplore this incident and also the many illegal hunting going on, yet it is time for the hunting lobby to get rid of these people once and for all.”

Sultana said BirdLife Malta would continue working with all stakeholders including the police, the government and the hunting lobby itself to reach this aim, whilst calling on the government to set up a Wildlife Crime Unit to seriously focus solely on wildlife crime. 

More in Nature