The investigators of the State Criminal Police Office are once again confronted with a case of wildlife crime. About three weeks ago, the Nature Conservation Association of Upper Austria reported the discovery of two dead black storks near a cycle path in Engelhartszell.
A passer-by discovered the two dead birds on August 6th in a bush on the banks of the Danube near the Jochenstein power plant in the municipality of Engelhartszell and reported this to the police. According to the EU Birds Protection Directive, the black stork is one of those bird species in Europe that are considered particularly worthy of protection. After extensive examinations of the carcasses for bird flu and other viruses, shotgun ammunition was finally discovered in the dead bird bodies. This was reported by the bird protection organization Birdlife, which has since filed a criminal complaint.
The investigations are carried out by the State Criminal Police Office of Upper Austria. Investigators are currently assuming that the location is probably not the crime scene. It is reasonable to assume that the dead storks – which are two male, adult animals – were placed in the bushes because the situation in which they were found was unusual, according to Birdlife.
There are currently only 45 black stork breeding pairs in Upper Austria, who usually live in secluded areas in quiet forest and floodplain areas. Since the worldwide number is classified as very low at a maximum of 40,000, the animals are protected all year round.