[WATCH] Juvenile flamingo shot in Marsascala, BirdLife CEO says

Mark Sultana said he witnessed an incident where one juvenile flamingo out of three was shot down in the Munxar area of Marsascala and that he called the police to investigate

The juvenile flamingo was shot down in a field close to Marsascala bay in the Munxar area of Marsascala
The juvenile flamingo was shot down in a field close to Marsascala bay in the Munxar area of Marsascala

A juvenile flamingo was shot in the Munxar area of Marsascala, BirdLife CEO Mark Sultana has said.

In a video he posted on Facebook on Tuesday afternoon, Sultana said that he witnessed the bird getting shot, describing the incident as "disgusting."

"In these fields behind me, they just shot a flamingo, juvenile, one out of three that were flying very low in Marsascala bay trying to find refuge because they were very tired," Sultana said.

He added that viewers of the video will have to take his word for it but promised that he would show his followers footage and pictures of the other flamingos which he claims were flying in the area.

The flock of greater flamingoes flying over Marsascala
The flock of greater flamingoes flying over Marsascala

"Unfortunately in 2019, our country still allows this to happen. I am sure that [the perpetrators] are individuals but they are also using a smokescreen because in Malta today you can go out with a gun just because there might be a rabbit for you to shoot.

"We have weakened our laws, we have weakened our enforcement. We do not know how to protect the birds, which are there for the enjoyment of everyone," Sultana lamented.

In the video, Sultana claimed that he had called the police and had been waiting for twenty minutes, adding that the police were far away and only operating two cars.

Police sources speaking to MaltaToday later in the evening said that a search in the Munxar area uncovered nothing so far — no sight of a downed flamingo or any poachers. It is likely that the perpetrator approached the area on foot and did not traverse the meandering pathways around the fields using a vehicle.

Police on site at the Munxar area
Police on site at the Munxar area

Police surveyed the area, making sure that the other flamingo birds in the area were safe and they said that two of the birds went to sea to rest. 

Earlier in the day, BirdLife activists rescued an exhausted juvenile flamingo at Daħlet Qorrot. Another flamingo was spotted at Għadira Bay.

More in Nature