Shots fired at bird-watchers’ patrol car in Girgenti 

CABS activists offer €2,500 reward for information leading to arrest of aggressor who shot at car

The damage to the car after it was shot at by unknown persons with a shotgun
The damage to the car after it was shot at by unknown persons with a shotgun

Anti-poaching campaigners were shot with a shotgun which left the rear of the vehicle they were travelling in riddled with lead pellets. 

The Campaign Against Bird Slaughter patrol car was parked on the main road in Girgenti valley, when unknown persons shot at the activists’ car. 

“Our team was out to monitor protected birds of prey flying towards the roost in Buskett. When the volunteers returned to their car, they realised that someone had shot at the vehicle from a short distance with a shotgun. 

“The rear of the vehicle was peppered with shot damage and dozens of lead pellets still embedded in the sheet metal,” CABS team leader Fiona Burrows said. 

The police were called and documented the damage. As it was already dark, they left without searching the area. 

CABS are offering €2,500 reward for information leading to the arrest of the persons responsible for the shot damage to their car in Girgenti. 

Witnesses are urged to contact the police or CABS. “We are relieved that no one got hurt but we are concerned that two such incidents occurred within a couple of days,” CABS president Heinz Schwarze said in a statement. 

The incident happened just three days after a CABS report led to a major police operation in the same area. Last Friday CABS members called the police after filming a protected Bee-eater being shot down by hunters. The footage was shown to ALE officers who searched the area and questioned several hunters which they found close to the scene.  

Despite an intensive search the bird could not be found. “We don’t know if the previous police action on the 6th triggered the incident from yesterday. What we can say is that clearly some hunters were not very happy with our presence in this area,” Burrows said, adding that after the police left, hunters hurled insults at the birdwatchers and two exposing their blank backside to female CABS volunteers. 

In a separate incident yesterday afternoon, two members of another CABS team monitoring bird migration in Bingemma were hit by multiple lead shot fired at a range of approximately 50 metres.  

“When we arrived at our watchpoint our team was spotted by a hunter who immediately ducked down behind a wall and very shortly after four consecutive shots were fired in our direction with the pellets raining down and hitting us. No birds were seen flying at the time,” CABS volunteer Marvin Fehn, from Germany, said. “Though it was more like a lead shower than a direct hit, it was clearly an intentional threat,” he added. 

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