A photo has caught a speedboat driving into a squadron of pelicans that were nesting in the Danube Delta in eastern Romania.
Delta officials who manage the nature reserve said they had identified the company that owns the boat, News.r reported.
They are looking into whether the boat trespassed on a protected area.
Photographer Marian Strinoiu posted images on social media of the boat barrelling into the pelicans who were relaxing on the water. They flew away when as the boat came close to them.
„A heartless person did this who should be held responsible,” photographer Strinoiu said on Facebook.
Viorica Bisca, who is in charge of the Danube Delta Reservation, told the news outlet that she has asked the company that owned the boat to provide documents.
“It’s a problem that’s happening more and more often,” she said.
She said it was not clear if any of the birds were injured.
“At this moment, we are making inquiries as is the Environmental Guard… and we will take measures.”
She said action needed to be taken to stop boats sailing close to birds.
“We need to find a legal way to reduce the number of boats … and keep them away from flocks of birds”, she added.
She said that boats deliberately get close to birds so that tourists can take close-up photos of them.
“But they go at a speed and the birds are scared off by the noise,” she added.
In May, intrusive tourists scared off flamingos that were nesting in two areas in the delta.
The Romanian Ornithological Society said visitors flocked to the area after news spread about the arrival of the birds to take photos. Like other birds, flamingos need peace and quiet. The flamingos subsequently left the delta.
Most of the delta lies in Romania with a small part in Ukraine. Fifty years ago, there were more than 250 species of birds in the sparsely populated area, most of which is wetlands.