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Outrage in Jordan after youth filmed killing 'rare' white stork during coronavirus lockdown Open in fullscreen

The New Arab

Outrage in Jordan after youth filmed killing 'rare' white stork during coronavirus lockdown

White storks pass through Jordan during migration season [Getty]

Date of publication: 19 April, 2020

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A video has shown two youths running through the Amman’s streers to kill a white stork which took the opportunity of the coronavirus lockdown to rest from its long flight.
The lockdowns and curfews put in place across the world to protect human beings from coronavirus has given animals the opportunity both to return to their natural habitats and to roam the streets of cities freely.

Jordan is no exception to this rule, and as strict curfews have been imposed on the population, animals and birds - some rarely seen before - have visited the country's capital Amman.

A video shared on social media recently showed a huge white stork roaming the streets of the city for a few seconds.

However, a nasty twist followed, prompting outrage across the country. Another video, taken moments later, showed two boys running through the streets holding the dead body of the stork and laughing.

Apparently the boys violated both the lockdown and the Jordanian animal protection laws in order to hunt the rare stork, which in Jordan is affectionately known as "Abu Saad".

Angry Jordanians shared the videos on social media with one Facebook user commenting: "This is happening in Jordan… [people are] thinking limitedly, only about their stomachs… this bird is rare in Jordan, do you really think you've achieved something by killing it?"

Twitter users called for the prosecution of the two boys in the video, saying that the white stork was protected under international law. The Jordanian news agency Ammanyat News emphasised the rarity of the stork and called the boys "ignorant".

Another news agency, Zad, reported that the Jordanian Royal Society for the Protection of Nature (RSPN) was now searching for the boys who had killed the stork and was "working with authorities to undertake legal proceedings against the attackers".

"It would be beautiful if Jordan was full of all kinds of animals – squirrels, deer, birds, and rabbits and so on, but this can't happen because everything in our country gets cooked and eaten!" the news agency declaimed.

In a statement the RSPN said: "This migrant bird, known locally as Abu Saad, arrives in Jordan in great numbers during migration season. Hundreds of thousands cross the country in great flocks and sometimes one flock contains thousands of birds.

"During their migration, individual birds exert great efforts which force them to land in the nearest place, so it's possible for them to land in populated areas to rest and find food. However, irresponsible human behaviour sometimes leads them to the end of their lives instead of helping them to rest and continue their journeys unfortunately."

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