“Two days ago, the ruckus of excavating machines disturbed the courtyard of the former cooperative of producers in opposite to the stables next to the plains in Dunakeszi-alsó”, founder of Rex Dog Shelter Foundation dr Péter Király claimed. He tried to convince the construction manager to cancel the project due to the vast natural valuables in the area. All in vain: the excavators buried the younglings of bee eaters alive in the loess wall where they were nesting.
According to Nepszava.hu, trenches are being dug in the area for the shooting of a World War I film, not concerning the natural rarities in the area. Király thinks that the destruction is far from over yet. “The sound and lighting effects of the military operation being filmed and the environmental destruction of the wading tanks will probably chase the remaining birds from the neighborhood”, as he wrote on Facebook.
“A World War I film will be shot here from next week, for which several trenches and pyrotechnical devices will be installed by a crew that has arguable permissions. But the territory is the natural habitat of the bee eaters that are under special protection and have around 325 euros of intrinsic value. I have been there at the beginning of the process and showed the manager personally the multiple dozens of bee eater nests in the loess wall. He promised me to evade this territory in a 20-meter-wide radius. The very next day, an excavator tread a part of the nesting site in the ground. The birds that were made homeless because of human carelessness desperately search for their chicks that were buried alive. I think we shall not stand it idly.
The sound and lighting effects of the military operation being filmed and the environment destruction of the wading tanks will probably chase the remaining birds from the neighborhood, not to mention the calm of the horses nearby and people living next to the plains. Though environment destruction is a crime in Hungary, the environment protection expert who visited the site multiple times during the recent days could not offer quick and effective help. I wrote a letter to representative Tamás Benkő, I pressed charges in the name of Rex Foundation, and I hereby ask the citizens of Dunakeszi-alsó to resolutely stand up against the committed and the upcoming barbaric environment destruction, together,” the vet claimed.
The worst part is that, according to Király, the expert who visited the site multiple times could not help in stopping the environment destruction. New information appeared on Facebook since then: The crew was accused not only for environment destruction but also animal cruelty. The foundation pressed charges at the authorities, environment protection organizations and the municipal.
The most recent news state that destruction ceased and there is only minimal working process, under police surveillance. Dunakeszi’s municipal published a declaration that the film shooting in the territory of Eurotrust Ltd. has probable environmentally damaging effects. The charges accused the crew of endangering the nests of bee eaters by digging trenches in this territory in order to create a World War I setting. The ranger of Dunakeszi Mayor’s Office immediately departed to the scene and informed the competent authorities, the representative of Danube Ipoly National Park (DINPI).
The territory is not under protection; thus, it is not a protected nesting site. Moreover, as it is a private territory and, furthermore, the owners gave permission to the crew to use it, so neither the municipal nor the authorities can fine the staff. Still, the municipal initiated a procedure and asked for the records made by DINPI with the expert’s opinion about the estate. If the municipal finds anything that is against the rules, information will be provided.
The bee eater is one of the most colorful birds in Hungary. It is related to tropical areas by both its vivid colors and its annual journey to Africa. It usually arrives in May and departs in September. Its diet consists mostly of wasps, butterflies and sometimes bees, hence its name. It nests in holes carved in walls, sometimes in higher grass. Despite the fact that it is a protected bird, their nesting sites are often destroyed barbarically. It is important to inform the responsible green authorities or the MME if any illegal action is witnessed related to the nests.
Bee eater (Merops apiaster) was chosen as the Bird of the Year in 2013. It is a highly protected species; its intrinsic value is 325 euros. There are approximately 20-30 thousand couples left in the Carpathian basin.