Flamingos shot as they fly out of Ghadira Nature Reserve – BLM
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Yesterday three Greater Flamingos from the flock presently at BirdLife Malta’s Ghadira Nature Reserve flew out of the reserve. “A few minutes later only two of them returned, with one of them displaying a gunshot injury to its neck,” said BirdLife. “The other flamingo disappeared and has not returned.”
In a statement BirdLife Malta said that, up until last Sunday, when it held the annual open day to celebrate the reopening of the reserves after the summer break, the public were flocking to Ghadira to see and enjoy the ten flamingos at the nature reserve.
The NGO stated that, “in a year to be labelled as the worst year for the illegal hunting of protected birds in the past six years, this incident clearly proves the sad reality that illegal hunting in Malta and Gozo is rampant.”
The uniqueness of these birds, complemented by their elegance left many in awe of their beauty, BLM said, “especially after the public began to understand the way they feed and get their pink colour, whilst also learning about their migration. All these added to the appreciation of nature’s beauty.”
“It is disheartening to know that people who are being given the privilege to go out in the countryside with loaded shotguns for their enjoyment can yet be disrespectful towards society,” stated BirdLife Malta CEO Mark Sultana.
He added, “we are aware that many hunters would deplore this incident and also the many illegal hunting going on, yet it is time for the hunting lobby to get rid of these people once and for all.”
Sultana concluded by saying that, “BirdLife Malta will continue working with all stakeholders including the Police, the Government and the hunting lobby itself to reach this aim, whilst calling on the Government to set up a Wildlife Crime Unit to seriously focus solely on wildlife crime.”
Photos by BirdLife Malta: One of two flamingos which returned to the reserve, with blood on its neck and The gunshot injury.