A ranger shot in Malta
A ranger in the north of Malta was shot as he got out of his car at six o'clock in the morning on 14 April. Ray Vella was rushed to hospital with slight injuries. This was the third incident in which the ranger has been involved.
In the past his farmhouse has been burned down and on a second occasion he suffered leg and facial injuries.
The police are investigating the incident and a site inguiry was held. Max Farrugia, International Animal Rescue's chairman in Malta, expressed support for Mr Vella on behalf of the charity.
The migration of birds between their wintering grounds in Africa andtheir European breeding grounds is in full swing: this has resulted in ruthless efforts by Maltese hunters to continue shooting migrating birds in spite of the ban on spring hunting.
The first of two main camps organised every year in Malta to monitor migratory patterns and report illegal hunting and trapping to the police started earlier this week. Fifty-eight birdwatchers and other volunteers from various groups were in Malta until 24 April.
During the past few days a number of reports have come in of protected species being shot at in various parts of the island and several birds have been taken into International Animal Rescue's bird hospital, including a purple heron, two harriers, and a common kestrel.