Update – Snorkeler retrieves shot Honey Buzzard from sea in Gozo
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Update with photos – BirdLife Malta has said in a statement this afternoon that "reports confirmed to them by the Gozo Police indicate that another three Honey Buzzards (Kuccarda) were seen being shot in Gozo in the last hours."
BirdLife said that the "birds landed in the sea and one of them was retrieved by a professional rock climber and snorkeler who took the bird to the police and was interrogated to get all the facts." "Later on, the British-Maltese snorkeler posted his story online on his personal blog and also claimed he nearly got killed by illegal hunters in Gozo," said BirdLife.
BirdLife Malta said that it "remains adamant that this rampant illegal killing will keep going on unless the Government takes immediate action today. Once again we are calling on the Prime Minister to suspend the hunting season till the 15th of October. This is the only way the limited enforcement efforts can give some results." "It would be surprising to know that the Government does not think this is alarming and we expect the Government to take the bold decision rather than pass the buck to the Ornis Committee. The law clearly states that the Government can decide to suspend the hunting season in critical conditions."
BirdLife continued, "this is far beyond critical following the 19th shot protected bird. We have already seen 7 Honey Buzzards and 2 Black Storks amongst these protected birds which have been shot and yet the Government decides to remain silent. This is unacceptable and our demands remain consistent – for the Government to suspend the season with immediate effect."
"We hope the Government has the courage to do what is right," stated BirdLife.
The blog by British-Maltese snorkeler Stevie Haston posted online yesterday, which he titled "Death of Hope and 3 Honey Buzzards."
Photographs by permission of Stevie Haston: Stevie Haston retrieving the shot Honey Buzzard from the water – The shot Honey Buzzard upon retrieval and the dead Honey Buzzard. Photos copyright Stevie Haston