The Malta Independent 24 September 2020, Thursday

WATCH: FKNK reports two barn owls stolen from Buskett project

Tuesday, 8 September 2020, 15:16 Last update: about 15 days ago

Two out of five barn owls have been stolen from the Barn Owl Project in Razzett il-Bagħal, Buskett, the Federation of Hunting, Trapping and Conservation (FKNK) reported on Tuesday afternoon.

This news came just a couple of weeks after the FKNK announced that the Barn Owl project was entering its second phase. This project aims to reintroduce barn owls in suitable environments in Malta and Gozo through a technique successfully conducted by falconers across the globe.

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The barn owls were being kept in specialised rooms at the Razzet tal-Bagħal before being released into the surrounding greenspace. There were five owls in total, with the addition of a Steppe Eagle which was found in bad shape in an illegal container.

However, earlier today, the FKNK reported that when the person in charge of feeding the birds went to do the daily rounds, they found that the rooms were damaged and two of the barn owls were missing.

The Federation attached a video to this post, caught by a CCTV camera that it was using to survey the owls' movements.

The video shows a stout, masked man busting through the protected window of one of the rooms where the barn owls were being kept. In just a few seconds he snatched one of the barn owls and started plucking its feathers to prevent it from flying, right before escaping from whence he came.

The FKNK reported this case to the police station in Rabat where it presented this clip to aid the police in their investigation. It appealed for anyone who has some sort on information on the case to step forward and assist further.

Environment Minister shared this post and condemned such acts of vandalism and robbery while calling for justice to be served.


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