Carabinieri hunting Maltese poachers in Sicily

Committee Against Bird Slaughter says hunting guards and Carabinieri in Ragusa investigating sighting of Maltese poachers

Italian police are searching for three Maltese men in connection with the illegal hunting of a protected Eurasian Crane (Grawwa) in Sicily, the Committee Against Bird Slaughter said today.

The incident was observed by a hunting guard on 17 December 2014, at around 10:30 am in the Pantano Cuba wetlands, in the south-east corner of Sicily.

The hunting guard was on a routine patrol when he saw the men firing shots at the passing bird, CABS said. She immediatly informed the Carabinieri and tried to detain the three men until the arrival of the officers.

"Unfortunately the poachers managed to escape in a small white car and. At least two of them were carrying shotguns. The men spoke Maltese and used a small white car with Maltese registration plate," CABS Press Officer Axel Hirschfeld said.

The Carabinieri of the town of Ragusa are investigating the case. CABS said that it has passed on the number plate of the car to the ALE for possible further investigations on Malta.

Common Cranes are a strictly protected species which may not be hunted neither in Italy nor on Malta. The Pantano Cuba wetlands are a protected Natura 2000 site with international importance for migrating waterbirds. In 2014 large parts of the wetland have been bought by CABS partner Stiftung Pro Artenvielfalt (Foundation pro Biodiversity) which also supports CABS operations on Malta and Gozo.

More in National