Black Stork shot down today in San Blas Valley, Gozo – CABS

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Black Stork shot down today in San Blas Valley, Gozo - CABSThe Committee Against Bird Slaughter has said in a statement that shortly after midday today a poacher shot down a strictly protected Black Stork in San Blas Valley, Gozo. According CABS the bird was recovered, still alive, after a search by their Bird Guards but it died in the arms of its rescuers moments before it was handed over to the attending Gozo police patrol.

“It was identified clearly as a juvenile bird that had fledged only a few months earlier before building up the strength to leave on its first migration to its winter quarters in Africa,” CABS said.

CABS said that “the recovery of the bird, thus denying its display in an illegal collection by a trophy killer, was the result of a strenuous and extensive search carried out by the Bird Guards team deployed to Gozo in close cooperation with the Gozo local police and Gozo ALE, who were rapidly at the scene.

“The search was triggered off by the report of an eyewitness, who had directly witnessed the shooting down and reported it to the BirdLife office on Malta.”

BirdLife said it alerted the CABS team on Gozo who then organised the search together with the police. “We are extremely grateful to the vigilant witnesses and all police officers involved in the incident for their assistance and prompt reaction,” stated David Conlin, CABS team leader on Gozo. “Although the bird could sadly not be rescued alive, the incident demonstrates that a functioning local alert chain, involving all agencies involved, is an important instrument in the fight against poaching,” Conlin concluded.

CABS further commented “that the shooting down of the stork was the tragic climax of a series of illegal killings of protected bird species this Sunday.”

CABS said that earlier in the day “teams on the Gebel Cantar plateau on Malta observed hunters shooting down two Honey Buzzards en route from their night roost in Buskett Gardens to the coast. ALE officers alerted by CABS searched the area for the birds and their killers but without success.

“Two more birds were shot at but flew on unscathed. Near Safi a CABS team filmed three attempts to shoot down a Marsh Harrier. The injured bird flew on – visibly weakened. The same morning another CABS team below Mgarr (Malta) discovered a bird trapper who, despite the ban on trapping, had activated his clap nets. ALE officers, alerted by the CABS team, arrived with 10 minutes, interviewed the man, and initiated proceedings against him.”

“The fact that as many as six severe breaches of hunting regulations occurred within such a short space of time shows that Malta is a long way from solving the poaching problem,” commented CABS spokesperson Axel Hirschfeld. “We now expect the authorities, as in the case of the shooting of three Flamingos last week, to do their utmost to apprehend the offenders and bring them to court.”

CABS said it will remain on Malta and Gozo with 10 teams until the end of the month, and will continue to monitor roosts and migration corridors of protected migrant bird species, and bring poachers to justice, in cooperation with the police.

CABS said that it can contacted on telephone numbers 99554442 (Malta) or 99646321 (Gozo).

Photograph – CABS

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    6 Responses

    1. L.Hosmer says:

      Are the police really taking this seriously? I am beginning to get the impression they are acquiescing such actions. Gozo is a very small island, if community policing was really taking place they would have a very good idea who is daft enough to undertake such a stupid act considering the penalties and the international condemnation Malta is getting from these acts of wanton stupidity.

      • Mr Brightside says:

        Absolutely right ….in a population of 30000 and with the number of police there are, these criminals should be banged up before there defenceless victims hit the ground.

    2. James A. Tyrrell says:

      Did the ‘poacher’ have a licence, because if he did he’s a hunter not a poacher. Stop protecting these scum. How long is the Maltese Government going to keep protecting hunters who are determined to break the law?

    3. Ann Corkett says:

      This criminal act bathes Malta and Gozo in shame…How can we ignore the stupidity of a small minority who blacken our name in Europe and the world. SHAME on the people who took this life. This was a criminal act and should be acted upon seriously by the police. But of course NOBODY seems to be willing to enforce the law on conservation.. and rare species of birds will dwindle even further. We will all wake up too late.. This island will be a barren plastic playground … our heritage will be gone and all our magnificent wild life devastated. No turtles, no fish, no birds, no seahorses . No pride

      • Mr Brightside says:

        And not just Malta that will be barren ….these birds are European en route to Africa ….so two continents devastated by the actions of a few.

    4. Jens.Hörnicke says:

      Dont understand how Peoples can do this ??

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