[WATCH] Black Kite shot down over Addolorata cemetery after hunting season closes

The total number of known illegally shot protected species in 2019 now stands at 36

A Black Kite (pictured here) was shot down at the Addolorata Cemetery
A Black Kite (pictured here) was shot down at the Addolorata Cemetery

BirdLife has released a video of a downed bird, a protected Black Kite (Astun Iswed), that was shot down at the Addolorata Cemetery, a protected area.

The incident took place on Saturday morning. The bird is being recovered by BirdLife's Conservation Manager, Nick Barbara.

"It's just four days since the hunting season has been closed, and following the storm of last night, hunters have been out this morning nonetheless with shots reported by members of the public in various areas," BirdLife said. "This Black Kite, aside from being protected, has been shot within a prohibited area and during the closed season. Let's hope police are able to catch the suspect after providing them with the relevant information."

The NGO said that the Kite might have possibly arrived in Malta just the day before and was just leaving its roost on Saturday, waiting for the weather to warm up.

As the Black Kite was being recovered, BirdLife said that it received another call regarding a Turtle Dove which was found injured just outside a school in Birgu. The bird has been found bleeding from its wing and has been taken to the government vet.

The total of known illegally shot protected birds so far in 2019 now stands at 36.

"This year’s spring hunting season, which closed last Tuesday, served as a smokescreen for hunters to illegally target the turtle dove in spite of the fact it was supposedly only open for quail. This was followed by a conscious decision by the government to open a hunting season whose dates extended well into the peak migration period of the vulnerable turtle dove," BirdLife said.