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PRESS RELEASE 29 August 2018

Last stork presumed dead

5.000 Euros reward for information regarding stork killers

The last survivor of a flock of 18 White Storks is presumed dead, the Committee Against Bird Slaughter (CABS) said today. The bird arrived on Malta on the 10th of August together with 17 others of its kind, but soon after arriving poachers began shooting at the flock, killing all adult birds which were leading the flock on their way south.

Recent graffiti in Malta ...Recent graffiti in Malta ...Without the lead of the experienced adults the remaining juveniles were disoriented and did not manage to leave the island. “Every morning the remaining birds were seen heading towards the sea to continue their journey, but without an experienced leader they found themselves lost and decided to return to Malta”, CABS Wildlife Crime Officer Fiona Burrows said. Although the police were able to arrest two hunters in connection with the first shootings the flock continued to dwindle with a total of five storks confirmed shot within the first week after their arrival. “By mid last week only one bird was left”, Ms Burrows, who monitored the flock together with members from Birdlie Malta, said.

In an effort to save at least this last remaining individual CABS activists, with permission from WBRU and the Maltese Ornis Committee, developed a plan to trap the bird and relocate it to Germany. A specialised bird trapper from Germany was brought to Malta and several large snare traps were installed at the dump in Maghtab where the bird was regularly observed. Unfortunately, the bird disappeared the day after the traps were installed. “It has not been seen since last Saturday morning and we fear the worst”, Fiona Burrows said adding that illegal taxidermy and collectors who pay several thousands of Euros for a dead stork are the driving forces behind the massacre observed in recent days”.

In opposition to the callous greed of these poaching incidents and to help the police with their investigations, CABS is offering a €5,000 reward for new information leading to the identification and successful conviction of any person(s) responsible for these stork killings. Those with any relevant information can contact either CABS at CABS@komitee.de in strict confidence or the police.

Contact for more information: CABS Press Officer Axel Hirschfeld, fon +0049 179 480 3805 or Email to CABS@komitee.de