'Lebanon: please don't shoot Polish storks'
PR dla Zagranicy
The Polish Embassy in Lebanon has teamed up with environmentalists in a bid to stop some Lebanese taking pot shots at storks returning from their winter migration to Africa.
The White Stork. Photo: wikipedia
Leaflets are being distributed at schools and universities across Lebanon, under the title 'Let storks return to Poland.'
DVDs will also be handed out, highlighting why the long-legged birds are so treasured in Poland.
Typically, about 30,000 storks return to Poland each Spring after migrating to Africa. The birds are considered to bring good luck in Poland, and they have attained the status of an unofficial national symbol.
However, ornithologists lament that every year, some of the storks fail to make it back to Poland, as they are shot down as they cross over Lebanon.
“This macabre custom means that stork numbers are declining each year,” claimed Ireneusz Kaluga from Siedlce's Ecological Group, in an interview with Polish Radio.
“That's why the Siedlce Ecological Group has joined up with the Polish Embassy in Lebanon and the Foreign Ministry.”
Last year was particularly bad for Poland's stork population, as a cold snap in early Spring meant that in some areas of the country 80 percent of newly-born birds perished. (nh)