Black Storks visit Maltese Islands on Friday, “large bird” shot in Xlendi
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BirdLife Malta has said that on Friday afternoon it received a report from the public of a “large bird being shot down over Xlendi cliffs in Gozo and falling into the sea.”
The NGO added that “a person was witnessed going with a boat to collect it and leaving the scene.”
“The police were informed immediately and they searched an individual but found nothing,” BirdLife Malta said.
According to BirdLife, “the total of known shot protected birds seen by the government vet so far, since the start of the autumn hunting season on 1st September, amounts to 20.It said that a Black Stork (Cikonja Sewda) landed at the Ghadira Nature Reserve later in the evening and roosted there.
“The bird has a visible injury to one of its legs, possibly as a result of a gunshot wound,” said the NGO.
“The total of collected shot protected birds since the start of the year is 64 – a trend which confirms that 2018 will be the worst year in the last six years for illegal hunting,” stated BirdLife Malta.
“These 64 are just the tip of the iceberg as many other shot birds would have not been retrieved and the number does not include birds seen flying with injuries,” it added.
BirdLife Malta concluded by saying that this total also does not include the latest three known casualties collected in the past 24 hours which are being seen by the vet on Saturday – a dead Grey Heron collected from the sea at Ghadira and two Bee Eaters which were found in Dingli and Mqabba.
Photos: Black Stork flying at Buskett by Aron Tanti and injured Black Stork at Ghadira by Denis Cachia