JIHLAVA, CZECH REPUBLIC — A flock of flamingos at a zoo came under attack by a group of kids, armed with sticks and stones.
On March 10 at the Jihlava Zoo, three young boys, ages 5, 6, and 8, climbed over the zoo fence and made their way to the indoor American flamingo exhibit. Once in, they gathered wooden sticks and baseball-sized rocks and began hurling them at the colony of 60 flamingos. One of the birds, a 16-year-old male, was pelted with rocks and then kicked by one of the boys, eventually breaking its leg.
The boys ran off, while the flamingo lay there with severed arteries and its snapped leg, bleeding to death. A worker on the grounds heard an “unusual noise” and failed to chase them down, but surveillance cameras caught them trying to get away. Two of the boys were apprehended shortly after the attack, while the third escaped. Local media reports the boys showed no remorse, and are unlikely to face charges given that they are minors.
Several other birds were left bruised, and one sustained serious but non-life threatening injuries. Being mating season, the trauma suffered by the birds at this time is particularly problematic. The male bird who died had been a successful breeding piece for the zoo, fathering eight offspring. The zoo has valued his life at roughly $2150, a cost the children’s parents will likely be responsible for paying.