Zypern – 20. 09. 2021
Notorious bird trapper threatens CABS activist with shotgun
Cyprus. Angry bird trappers have threatened and attacked a CABS member after the birdwatcher found an illegal bird trapping site in Sotira. CABS said that one aggressor threatened the activist with a shotgun and pointed the weapon towards his chest. The incident happened last Tuesday, 12th Sept, while the conservationist was monitoring the garden of a notorious trapper in Sotira. According to CABS the main aggressor and owner of the garden is a known poacher who regularly appears as the spokesperson for the trapping lobby.
“His site is well known to CABS and the authorities and has been reported for illegal trapping on numerous occasions. As soon as our bird guard team detected an illegal bird calling device within the fenced property we reported the case to the Game and Fauna Service. However, one of our team members was stopped by the owner of the site who unleashed a torrent of verbal abuse and then threatened the activist with a loaded gun, aiming it at his chest. Soon after, other people joined the trapper, grabbing and pushing the CABS member around and threatening him with physical harm" CABS Wildlife Crime Officer Bostjan Debersek reports.
Fortunately, the tension de-escalated when a jopint patrol of the police and the Game and Fauna service from Derynia attended the scene. The wardens subsequently found the limesticks and charged the trapper for illegal bird trapping. In addition to this CABS has filed a complaint for violence and death threats against the man.
Over the weekend, CABS members faced two other serious assaults. In the night, in the ESBA, a group of illegal hunters chased two male and two female CABS volunteers after they attempted to locate some illegal quail callers. Debersek: "They were surrounded by four cars, hunters even shot towards their vehicle and our teams were saved only by the arrival of police. Once again, in the morning, at a trapping site in Liopetri, a trapper and his neighbours attacked our teams, throwing stones and sticks. In addition, the team was chased while trying to reach the police station by a car driving dangerously at high speed down the highway. After this assault, images of the CABS vehicle and plate number were subsequently posted by one of the assailant on Facebook saying ‘wanted".
“Violent aggression is no form of defence for such relentless and destructive wildlife crime and we will not be intimidated. However, we urge the authorities to bring this person to justice for their criminal and dangerous behaviour. The Republic of Cyprus desperately needs a harder rule of law, but it seems to us that this goal is still very far away" – said Debersek following the assault.
Contact for more information: CABS Investigations Officer Andrea Rutigliano, +39 346 9484460 or Email to CABS@komitee.de