Residents fear bird poachers

2015-10-27 06:00

Several concerned residents have been monitoring the actions of two individuals who are, according to them, hunting and killing Egyptian geese at the Langevlei Park in Retreat.

The residents claim that the perpetrators are selling the carcasses.

A resident who spoke to People’s Post on condition of anonymity says he is concerned about the birds and other wildlife species at the park which may also be the target of poachers for eating.

“I have been monitoring the actions of these people and what they are doing is surely illegal. They are scaring these geese and other species at the park and action needs to be taken against them for what they are doing,” he says.

He says over the years birds and Egyptian geese flocked to this area, but are now apparently being pestered by individuals from the community.

According to the resident this has been going on for a couple of months, since the geese started laying eggs at the park.

“These geese are very protective of their chicks and eggs and they are being traumatised daily by the actions of these individuals,” he says.

Another resident who spoke to People’s Post says she witnessed two men fishing from the small island where the birds breed on 25 September and they chased the birds away to fish.

“These men are also catching fish and selling it to the locals, along with the geese,” she says.

The residents are concerned about the actions of these individuals as they claim the birds and fish they are selling could be contaminated as there are various waste products being dumped in the water daily.

“We are now urgently calling on the authorities or landowner to erect a fence around the island to deter anyone from gaining access to the island and killing the birds,” she says.

Complain formallyCapeNature spokesperson Justin Lawrence says the organisation has not received any formal complaints from residents or from the public.

“CapeNature can assist if sufficient evidence has been provided to us. The person who reports the complaint must also be willing to supply a sworn statement that he has seen the illegal activity happen. It can also be sent to the law enforcement unit of the City of Cape Town as they are probably the landowners of the area,” he says.

Lawrence says if allegations are found to be true, the people could be charged for contravening the Western Cape Nature Conservation Ordinance.

“Egyptian geese are protected wild animals, which means that a permit is required to hunt the animals. The written consent from the landowner is also required. Hunting, which by definition includes searching for, capturing or attempting to capture any wild animal in the Western Cape, is controlled by the Ordinance.”

Asked if the birds could be carrying a virus or disease and what the health risk would be if consumed, Lawrence says he cannot speculate on that and that tests would have to be run on the carcasses

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