Updated 4.28pm- Added BirdLife video

A young flamingo was shot in Ħal Far this morning and another, an adult, was later found wounded in Marsascala.

BirdLife said in a statement that it was called to Ħal Far together with the police by a person who witnessed the bird being shot. The witness then saw the bird falling some distance from where it was hit.

In another statement shortly after, the organisation said it had retrieved another shot flamingo, this time from Marsascala. 

BirdLife Malta's CEO Mark Sultana described this as outrageous and disgusting. He said that to make things worse, the government seemed to be adopting a nonchalant attitude with promises of reducing fines still being considered.

“We demand action on behalf of all those who love nature. We ask the public to show their concern and support us today more than ever.”

After being retrieved from Ħal Far, the bird was handed to the police who delivered the bird to a veterinarian.

However, it had lost a lot of blood from a completely fractured right wing and nothing could be done to save it. Due to severe gunshot wounds the vet had to put the bird down.

Footage of the second wounded bird which was retrieved from Marsascala. Video: BirdLife Malta

BirdLife Malta’s conservation manager Nicholas Barbara, who was on site with the police, described this incident as “disgusting and unfair” especially after two other flamingos were recently saved after they got stranded.

“This flamingo is a different bird than the two birds retrieved a few weeks ago and which recently attracted a lot of attention when one of them landed among swimmers at Għadira Bay.”

The second bird is being kept under observation after it was also confirmed shot by the veterinarian.

These were the 10th and 11th injured protected birds retrieved by Birdlife this autumn season. Various others were seen carrying injuries from gunshots making this one of the worst autumn hunting seasons in the past recent years, the organisation said.

BirdLife called for an improved enforcement drive and again asked the government to set up a Wildlife Crime Unit within the Malta Police Force as soon as possible.

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