16 animals, including sea eagles, hawks, ravens, a magpie, a buzzard, and a fox were found poisoned to death near Rožmitál pod Třemšínem in the Příbram region.
On Saturday, regional police called upon the Czech Ornithological Society (ČSO) to investigate the specimens which appeared to have typical signs of poisoning, like an eagle with fully outstretched wings and talons.
ČSO’s search went well into Sunday morning as the number of dead animals continued to add up. Klára Hlubocká, trained in finding poison baits illegal animal traps, claimed that their findings were the worst they’d ever seen in one area.
“We found a total of 16 dead animals, which is the largest number we’ve ever recorded for a single locality… We also found the remains of two large ravens and what’s left of a buzzard which we can’t perform an autopsy on because of how old the carcass is.”
Autopsies on dead animals can detect carbofuran, also known as Furadan, a pesticide that poachers use to kill animals. Carbofuran, known as a health risk to humans but still used on crops like corn, potatoes, and soybeans, targets the brain and nervous system, paralyzing animals until they suffocate.
In 2008, the EU banned the use of carbofuran as a pesticide, but not the actual sale of it, which means it’s still available on the market.
In 2020, the ČSO recorded 51 illegally killed birds.