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International Animal Rescue Saving animals from suffering around the world

Rare black stork is shot down in Malta

Black stork (Photo: Markus Varesvuo)Only days after the massacre in Malta of more than 100 endangered raptors, a rare black stork has been shot down. The illegal shooting was filmed by members of the German group Committee Against Bird Slaughter (CABS) which IAR is supporting in Malta with the monitoring and reporting of illegal hunting activity. The black stork is strictly protected throughout Europe and is only rarely observed migrating over Malta.

"Our video shows very clearly the bird being hit and falling out of the sky. Later an unknown person can be seen collecting the bird," reports Axel Hirschfeld, CABS press officer. Shortly afterwards observers saw a metallic green pick-up driving away from the scene. The video sequence and other information which may help in identifying the poacher have been handed over to the Administrative Law Enforcement, the police department responsible for the protection of wildlife in Malta. An extract from the film has been published online on YouTube and can be accessed via the CABS home page at

Alan Knight, CEO of International Animal Rescue, said: "The level of illegal shooting currently taking place in Malta is almost beyond belief. It is baffling why anyone would want to shoot down a beautiful bird in flight and reduce it to a pile of feathers and broken bones. But using protected species for this mindless, murderous target practice is a serious crime and the perpetrators must be caught and severely punished.

"There is simply no excuse for allowing this slaughter to continue while the rest of the world looks on with revulsion and horror."