Cuckoo shot down on second day of spring hunting season – Hunter in court
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BirdLife Malta and the Police this morning recovered an illegally shot cuckoo (Daqquqa Kahla), a protected bird, on the second day of the spring hunting season. The bird was shot down in Manikata this morning.
BirdLife Malta said that its volunteers filmed the cuckoo falling from the sky after a shot was heard. A second shot was then heard from the area where the bird fell, and a hunter was observed searching the area and hiding the bird, BLM said.
Police were called to the site immediately and the dead bird was recovered from where it had been hidden under a bush. BLM said that the Police seized the cuckoo, and have been given all video evidence which should help to identify the hunter.
The Government in a statement this afternoon, said acting on the report from BirdLife, the suspect had been arrested and would appear in court today, adding that “this was a sign that enforcement was working effectively and immediately.”
It added, “anyone caught breaking the law will not find any shelter and will face what are among the most severe penalties in in Europe for their criminal acts.”.
“The warning from the Government is clear,” it said, “if there are flagrant illegalities, the season will be closed.”
The Common Cuckoo is a protected species which is seen on migration during the period of the spring hunting season. Cuckoos migrate singularly returning from tropical Africa to Europe to breed.
In North Western Europe the Cuckoo is suffering from declines in recent decades. Cuckoos migrating over Malta have in the past been tracked to migrate to North Western Europe.
Photo: Common cuckoo, Kieran Dodds (File photo, not from this morning’s incident)