Two protected herons shot in one day in Gozo and Malta
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BirdLife Malta said that it has received calls to retrieve another two shot protected birds today.
The NGO was called to go to Mgarr ix-Xini in Gozo this afternoon to retrieve an injured protected bird – a Night Heron (Kwakka).
The bird was discovered by 16-year old Sol Pearson, from Xewkija, while walking in a nearby valley.
BirdLife said that the bird had an injury in one of its wings “which evidently shows that it was shot.” It was very weak when it was collected by BirdLife Malta CEO Mark Sultana, and sadly succumbed to its injuries whilst being transported to the vet.
Following examination, the vet certified that the Night Heron had been shot in the wing and in the eye.
This morning the NGO also retrieved a protected Grey Heron (Russett Griz in Maltese) which was this morning found with blood, in the football grounds of De La Salle College.
The NGO said that in a similar case in April 2015 a shot protected bird landed in the yard of St Edward’s College in Cottonera (which is very near to today’s site) while the school children were on their break. This had led the Prime Minister to close the hunting season prematurely.
BirdLife Malta said that the protected bird was found still alive but died a few moments later.
As is normally done in such cases the bird will be taken to the veterinarian who will establish the cause of death after examining its injuries.
If it is confirmed shot, it would be the fourth victim of this year’s autumn hunting season which has only been open for a week.
Photographs by BirdLife Malta