Caught on film – Maltese hunters massacring migrant birds in Egypt01/03/2012 18:11:17
Hunters can be heard laughing and celebrating
March 2012: Sequences from a shocking video showing Maltese bird hunters on a shooting spree in Egypt have been posted on YouTube.
The video was sent anonymously to International Animal Rescue Malta and shows the hunters by Lake Nasser targeting migrating birds. Some of them are highly endangered, including pelicans, spoonbills, glossy ibis, Egyptian vultures, as a well as an osprey, a lanner falcon and a Bonelli's eagle.
As the birds are shot down, there is the sound of the hunters' cheering and laughter as they haul their catch into the boat.
The images have been posted, with IAR permission, by the German group Committee Against Bird Slaughter (CABS).
CABS spokesperson Axel Hirschfeld comments: ‘This video shows the true face of these so-called hunting trips. We have therefore decided to expose them by publishing extracts from this video.'
Posing for the camera with freshly shot pelicans
CABS received support from local conservationists who want to put an end to this uncontrolled hunting tourism. ‘Maltese hunters are crazy fanatics. They have been bird hunting in Egypt for decades, because Egypt has interesting-looking birds compared to its neighbours,' said Sherif Baha el-Din, an Egyptian bird expert, in an interview with the Egypt Independent newspaper last month.
The conservationist has witnessed at first hand the indiscriminate killing of flamingos and other bird species. He is critical about the almost complete lack of effective controls in Egypt.
‘You cannot open a hunting season when you don't have a system to monitor this activity,' states Baha El-Din.
Because of the numerous reports of massacres of birds by hunting tourists, CABS has announced that it will send a team to Egypt during the next hunting season to monitor important rest areas around Lake Nasser for migrant birds on passage. ‘As on Malta, we will work closely with local ornithologists and law enforcement agencies,' states CABS spokesperson Axel Hirschfeld.