A bird trapper caught in the act attacked and injured two MMAD officers during his arrest, police said on Thursday.
Police say members of the rapid reaction force fighting poaching at 6.30 am on Wednesday spotted two 22-year-year-olds using a couple of mist nets and sound emitting devices to trap wild birds.
When the two were informed they were under arrest, one of them resisted, attacking two policemen and injuring various parts of their bodies before being apprehended.
The illegal hunting means were confiscated and 57 birds were freed from the nets, while three had already died.
A search carried out at the residence of one of the two suspects led to the discovery of a freezer and the confiscation of 372 plucked and cleaned wild birds within it, while another 52 were found in a fridge with their feathers still intact, along with a hare.
A look in the freezer at the second suspect’s house yielded five plucked and cleaned wild birds while 14 others were found alive in a cage and taken to be released.
The two men were charged to be brought before a court, while the injured cops were taken to hospital for first aid and released.
In autumn, hundreds of millions of wild birds fly south from Europe to winter in Africa, concentrating along ‘migration highways’ along the Mediterranean where an estimated 25 million are killed by hunters.
Nearly half of the migratory bird species using this route are thought to stop to rest on Cape Pyla.
Xylophagou police are continuing investigations.