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Italy‘s ’most stupid‘ poacher caught

Goldcrest in an Italian poacher‘s netGoldcrest in an Italian poacher‘s netThe authorities in Val Sabbia in Northern Italy have caught a particularly stupid bird poacher. Police officers had located a trapping installation with 6 nets and some 20 live decoys in the lower Val Sabbia, close to Lake Garda. After lying in ambush for some time, with no sign of the poacher, the officers dismantled the nets on 11 April and released the decoy birds.

The next day a man appeared at the Carabinieri station and made an official complaint about theft of his property. He told the police that persons unknown had stolen his mist nets and decoy birds. The officers, who had to try very hard not to show their amusement, took down the man’s particulars and the details of the ‘theft’. It gradually dawned on the poacher that he had dropped himself in it and he tried to back pedal. Too late! He was charged with illegal bird trapping.

On 4 April the same police officers had caught another poacher - this time red-handed. Acting on information from a CABS team, they had located the trapping installation last autumn but failed to catch the poacher. A new check of the site revealed an installation with 9 mist nets, some 180 m long, and two dozen live decoy birds. They did not have to wait long to catch the offender - a 16 year old boy from the nearby village of Agnosine. A search of the parents’ house uncovered a further 15 nets and dozens of unringed thrushes and finches. The boy’s father claims to be a bird breeder and sells allegedly legally caught birds to hunters as decoys. He was caught with illegal nets in autumn 2010 and has now introduced his son to this illegal activity.