A protected short-toed eagle has a limited chance of survival after it was found covered in blood from a gun wound in Gozo yesterday, BirdLife Malta claims.
The injured bird was one of 12 somewhat rare short-toed eagles that were spotted flying across the islands and is believed to be the only one that survived.
BirdLife Malta rescued the bird following a report by a group Italian tourists who stumbled upon it in Marsalforn and Xagħra region.
Speaking at a press conference earlier today, BirdLife Malta CEO Mark Sultana claimed that the bird was shot by a hunter using some illegal form of ammunition with the sole intent to kill.
“This is a symptom of the direction the government is heading,” he said.
“This is the responsibility of the Prime Minister and the government which is letting hunters do whatever they want and now they want to give them a gift, the two biggest woodland areas that we have.”
Earlier this week, it was revealed that the FKNK and government would sign an agreement that would give hunters management over Miżieb and Aħrax, proving highly controversial given that no details of the agreement have been made public.
While the Miżieb Hunting Reserve has claimed that nothing will change as a result of the agreement, there has been significant public outcry that the agreement will limit public access to the woodland areas and allow give hunters free reign over the region.
BirdLife Malta has claimed that it has rescued more illegally shot birds this year than it had collected in the last eight years, with the total number of bird casualties reaching 166 in 2020 so far.
“There has never been a government that kept the protection of the environment at such a low priority,” Sultana continued.
The BirdLife CEO also encouraged the public to join them this Sunday at Miżieb where they will be protesting the signing of the new agreement.
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