A hunter who could not help himself when he saw a captive-bred spoonbill flying just outside a bird park lost his appeal to overturn the suspended jail term he had received, although he was spared a €500 fine.
The case dates back to 24 November, 2009.
The hunter, Raymond Agius, was outside the Salina bird park when he shot at the captive-bred African spoonbill, a sister species to the Eurasian spoonbill occasionally seen – and at times illegally shot – in Malta. The bird had been born in the park itself, and was properly registered and ringed.
The park’s owner Kevin Mallia testified that they were training the spoonbill – which was often displayed to schoolchildren visiting the park – and that while it was flying just outside the park, the accused fired a number of shots at it and missed.