The juvenile flamingo collected by police from Sliema last week died on Sunday morning from gunshot wounds, the Animal Rights Parliamentary Secretary has confirmed.

Members of the public informed the police on September 11 that a flamingo had landed near Exiles and the bird was taken to the government vet.

Times of Malta revealed it had been shot and followed the bird’s progress.

The juvenile flamingo was one of seven protected birds given to the authorities for care after being illegally targeted by hunters.

The other protected species that received care since the start of the hunting season on September 1 were three honey buzzards, two night herons and one marsh harrier .

FKNK would strongly oppose any move by the government to close the season early

One of the night herons has also died. “All of the birds suffered gunshot injuries,” a spokesman for the secretariat said.

The numbers do not represent the full scale of illegal hunting but only those protected birds given to the care of the secretariat. The stork shot down on Tuesday, for example, was not included.

Out of the flock of 10 white storks that arrived in Malta this week, only seven remain at the time of writing.

Two have disappeared, although the fact that they may have been targeted by hunters is not being excluded.

Referring to the confirmed killing of the stork, the government “condemned all such acts”, saying those who committed them would find the government was not on their side.

In a statement, the government also welcomed the immediate action taken by the police.

The hunters federation (FKNK) also issued a statement saying the man convicted of the stork’s killing was not a member of its organisation.

FKNK warned that such a “despicable act” could result in the government deciding to close the season early.

The organisation also immediately made it clear it would “strongly oppose” such a move.

Like the government, the FKNK also declared that those hunters responsible for such “cowardly acts” would not find refuge anywhere and praised the police for their work in apprehending the culprit.

FKNK launched a campaign to encourage its members to report hunting illegalities on 9947 4503.

Independent journalism costs money. Support Times of Malta for the price of a coffee.

Support Us