persbericht 5 november
Rare Short-toed Eagles get the chop
A flock of 14 short-toed eagles that made it to Malta on Friday afternoon was met with volleys of shots by hunters in various areas and are believed to have been decimated. By late Friday evening, three of the fourteen eagles had been shot and the flock had been disrupted as the birds seeked overnight refuge in areas in the north of Malta.
ALE police were alerted by BirdLife Malta and went to the site where the eagles were circling late on Friday amongst a flurry of activity of hunters looking for an opportunity to shoot the birds. It is not known whether the police have arraigned any persons in connection with the incident.
The birds were first seen at around 15:30 hours on Friday in the Handaq area, proceeding to Zebbug and then to the north in the Dwejra area followed by illegal shooting wherever they ventured. By 17:30 hours the flock had been disrupted to individual birds coming in low to find a sleeping place amidst a flurry of crazy car chases by several hunters, discouraged to some extent by the presence of the ALE police.
"The systematic way in which these eagles were persecuted in a few hours is undeniable proof that illegal hunting in Malta is the order of the day. At the same time we have the Police Commissioner instructing the ALE to go slow on court action against hunters breaking sections of the hunting law." - said Joseph Mangion, President of BirdLife Malta.
In the meantime, BirdLife Malta also received a report that a Short-toed Eagle was shot in Mizieb on Wednesday 1st November.