The online magazine “Reef Reporter” reports in detail on the crane massacre in Lebanon.
The Committee against Bird Murder had spread the incredible pictures and reports in October on social media – as a result, the police caught three of the perpetrators. The drug at the “Reef Reporters” is already two weeks old.
A hunter proudly poses with the killed cranes
Here is the article: Crane massacre in Lebanon
These days we are again receiving shocking images from Lebanon. This time by cranes. Dozens of individual hunters pose with the killed animals that they have hung on wire fences or draped on the hoods of their cars.
Even children can be seen in photos posing with the birds that are revered as “birds of happiness” in many countries.
In a report by a colleague from the ABCL bird protection association, it says: “These massacres are carried out every day across the country.”
Videos also show that was recorded for the different parts of the country, not only in the Lebanon Mountains in the north but also from the region around Tire in the far south.
We only hear about individual incidents in a flash. For example, last week near Ouyoun, east of Beirut, a group of pelicans were shot down with automatic M16 assault rifles.
We only know that more than a dozen birds were killed, and the weapon of war incident occurred less than 200 meters away from a military checkpoint.
During our research, we came across other similar incidents in the south and this crane massacre in the area around Tire on the coast.
Because of the corona pandemic, no international team from the bird protection organization can be on site this year.
Lloyd Scott, from the Committee against Bird Murder, is in constant contact with the Lebanese conservationists who are on duty regardless of the pandemic.
Apparently a great number of cranes were lured to rest at an estuary with the help of sound dummies, i.e. crane calls played on tape, and then slaughtered from military rifles and shotguns as soon as they started to land.
Many birds died instantly, others were able to fly away injured.
An eyewitness put it this way: “It rained blood from the sky”.
The shooting apparently lasted over two hours. The witnesses tried to stop the perpetrators, but they were on the other side of the estuary.
What happens to the birds that are killed?
The picture of a man holding up two dead cranes seems to have been made in a butcher’s shop.
Typically, larger birds are killed primarily as “sport”. Smaller birds are killed and eaten.
However, given the current political and economic situation in the country, it is likely that many of these birds will be slaughtered and eaten or sold for a profit in order to monetize them as illegal preparations.
However, many birds are simply left to die or thrown away after taking trophy pictures.
Lloyd Scott, of the Committee against Bird Murder, kneels on the ground while holding two illegally shot birds of prey in the air: a lesser spotted eagle and a long-eared owl.
There are now a large number of pictures of different, sometimes widely spaced locations, which show that the cranes were massively attacked in many places on the move.
One film shows children marching through the streets with a shot crane. The Tire massacre appears to be a particularly dire incident, but we believe there have been more such cases across the country in the past few days and weeks.
A massacre of migrating cranes in Lebanon sheds light on the deaths of millions of migratory birds on their way from Europe to Africa.
The rampant slaughter of eagles, storks, and songbirds is on the one hand an ethical scandal, but also a declaration of war on all attempts to preserve biological diversity.
In 2017, the Lebanese government also passed a new hunting law. Law No. 580 comprehensively regulates the shooting of birds and other wild animals for the first time. 13 species of birds are officially approved for shooting: quail, chukar chicken, mallard, common snipe, hollow, ringed and turtle dove, calendar lark, chaffinch, song thrush, and field thrush.
All other species, including all birds of prey, storks, pelicans, and cranes are strictly protected.
The use of electronic lure devices and boastful display, as documented in countless photos in the present case, is also prohibited.
And Lebanon is a member of the Bonn Convention for the Conservation of Migratory Species (!!!)
And I mean…The explosion in Lebanon killed more than 160 people and left hundreds of thousands homeless. The detonation of huge amounts of ammonium nitrate in the middle of the capital Beirut also shook the already fragile political situation in the country.
Only a total state failure as a result of nepotism and corruption makes such a catastrophe possible.
People are suffering from Corona and a devastating economic crisis. The money is no longer worth anything. People lose their jobs and then something like that happens.
Is that one reason why we “understand” the massacre that hunters and poachers carry out on migratory birds on their way to their winter quarters?
Should we also believe that poverty forces them to throw dozens of birds from the sky with hailstones?
If one really has nothing to bite and then catches birds to survive, then one could say that for the needy, morality or animal welfare is a luxury
But to shoot down the thousands of swallows that fly by in Lebanon on their journey, birds that are not eaten and are only massacred as a hobby and target exercise, then all understanding and tolerance come to an end.
Because that`s murder!
This also applies to Lebanon, but not only: we abhor the murderers who kill defenseless animals for fun or for a perverse hobby.
No matter which country they come from.
My best regards to all, Venus