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Two endangered birds found shot at river in Kin Town

Date Posted: 2003-12-25

A sniper has killed two snipes in northeastern Okinawa. A birdwatcher wandering in the jungle near Okubi River in Kin Town was startled to hear two gunshots Sunday. Advancing towards the direction where the shots were coming from, he discovered two dead snipes on the bank of the river. According to Kin Town Office, hunting in the area around the river is forbidden until Nov. 2004. Snipes are also completely protected. Town officials also said that near the area on both sides of the river there are several yam fields. “There are people tending the fields, and it is very dangerous to shoot any kind of gun there,” a town office spokesman said.

The incident isn’t the first of its kind at the location. Okinawa Prefecture Bird Watching Association Member Isamu Matayoshi said he has discovered birds that have been shot to death in the area several times. “I have seen dead bids there more times than I can remember. Snipes in the area stay in groups and someone there targets those groups of birds,” Matayoshi said. The birdwatcher who heard the shots took the dead birds to a veterinarian for inspection. He also discovered five used shells, which he took to the police for further investigation.

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