At least two juvenile flamingos are feared stolen or dead after a suspected robbery took place Monday night.
“BirdLife Malta is sad to announce that during the night between 12th and 13th October a person or two entered Għadira Nature Reserve from a secluded area using wooden planks to jump over the fence,” a BirdLife spokesperson said in a statement today.
Footprints were found on islands within the reserve that humans never visit. The robbery comes the recent rehabilitation and release of two out of three juvenile Greater Flamingos.
They have now disappeared, leading BirdLife to believe that they have been either killed or taken away.
While police were on the scene and are investigating the case, BirdLife lamented the robbery that comes in the same year that has seen more illegal hunting than the last eight years combined.
And just last month, a man was filmed breaking into a barn owl regeneration project to steal a number of owls, before surgically altering them.
“One can only imagine what would happen to the birds in such reserves without any controlled access. BirdLife Malta will continue working hard to make such places a respite and a safe place for birds to be enjoyed by the public,” they said.