Thank you to the kind citizen who called the police and BirdLife Malta for assistance!
Last Saturday it was the four Greater flamingos and yesterday it was sadly the highly protected Osprey’s turn to be shot down.
A protected Osprey, also known in Maltese as Arpa, was spotted soaring through the sky over Bidnija yesterday afternoon, only to be later seen falling from the air, close to an onlooker’s car. Thankfully, the kind soul was thoughtful enough to call the police as well as BirdLife Malta for assistance. With help from the Environmental Protection Unit (EPU), the bird of prey was recovered from the site and taken to the government vet. Unfortunately, it was later concluded that the bird had been illegally shot down.
Here are some tips from BirdLife Malta on what to do if you ever find yourself in this situation. Let’s hope you won’t ever have to use them.
Why are hunters shooting down this protected bird?
It would seem that the osprey, quite a large bird and coming from a raptor species, is considered to be a highly sought-after bird - perfect for trophy hunters looking for good taxidermy victims, and therefore, is high up on many hunters’ wishlists. In a report released earlier this week, BirdLife Malta confirmed that a shocking 523 birds had been illegally shot and recovered over the past four years alone in the Maltese Islands. This shows a drastic increase from previous years, seeing as from 2014 to 201, only 190 illegal killings were reported.
We hope our little friend recovers well and is back in the sky soon enough.