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Maltese Hunter hit by friend in shooting accident

Flying cranes

A 20 year old Maltese hunter is fighting for his life in hospital following a shooting accident in which he was hit by a friend.

Kyle Gili was taken to the Mater Dei Hospital in Malta after he was accidentally shot by Darren Bonnici, a 28 year old from Zabbar.

Gili suffered serious head injuries when he was hit by a shot from a hunting gun. The incident occurred in a field near to where the young men lived. They are great friends and often go hunting together.

According to the police Darren Bonnici shot at a migratory bird but failed to hit it. He continued to follow the bird and, at a second attempt, instead of hitting the bird he hit his friend who was crossing the field.

Kyle Gili was transported to the emergency unit of the Mater Dei Hospital suffering from serious head injuries and taken to the Intensive Care Unit. In the meantime an inquiry was held by Magistrate Doreen Clarke who appointed various experts to help her in the inquiry.

The police are still investigating the case and although this is being treated as an accident, the possibility is that in the coming days Bonnici will be brought before the court accused of causing serious injuries to his friend as a result of his carelessness, which could result in the young man's death.

This is not the first time that serious injuries and even deaths have occurred during hunting. Every year a number of minor incidents are also recorded. Very recently a spectacular scene was witnessed over Malta when large flocks of cranes crossed over the island on two consecutive days. On the first day more than 850 birds were recorded crossing over the southern part of the island. The migration continued on the following day when smaller flocks of cranes were seen again. In all about 1,200 cranes crossed over the island.

Although some shots were heard in the South of Malta, particularly in the areas of Fawwara, and Siggiewi, the police said they did not receive any reports of birds being shot dead and they did not arrest anyone. Owing to the bad weather in Europe this year, migration has started much earlier than usual and a considerable number of robins, white wagtails, and chaffinch made stops on Malta. Other birds that were seen were coots, wild ducks, plovers, starlings, and terns - some of them in larger numbers than in previous years.