Four Greater Flamingos were shot dead on Saturday morning by 23-year-old hunter Miguel Zammit. The young hunter pleaded not guilty, but request for bail was denied, resulting in Zammit being taken to prison. BirdLife Malta stated that a bird watcher witnessed a flock of flamingos being killed at Qawra Point, subsequently calling the authorities on the alleged culprit.
Following the retrieval of four flamingo carcasses by the Armed Forces, the non-profit organisation BirdLife Malta reiterated its call to Prime Minister Robert Abela and the government to make Qawra Point a protected area and a no-hunting zone. This has been insisted by the organisation for a number of years. Following the incident and court developments, Environment Minister Aaron Farrugia released his statement;
Farrugia declared that it is currently being decided to make the zone a no-hunting area, with BirdLife Malta taking over as guardians through a newly signed deal. The organisation welcomed the governmental decision, stating that they are happy to see common sense prevailing. Despite acknowledging the fact that another four highly-protected bird species had to be killed for this to occur, the decision was welcomed with open arms.