CNN reports that an Illinois zoo was forced to euthanize one of its flamingos after an elementary school student threw a rock at it. Miller Park Zoo, which is in Bloomington, Illinois, confirmed the news and explained that the child was responsible for breaking one of its legs. The injuries the flamingo sustained were severe enough that they had to put it down.
“Unfortunately, staff determined the best course of action given the animal’s injuries was to euthanize the bird,” Miller Park Zoo's superintendent Jay Tetzloff said via The Pantagraph. "This was a truly unfortunate accident, and we are working with the juvenile’s family to move forward." It's unclear how long the student was throwing rocks into the flamingo exhibit.
Miller Park Zoo first opened the flamingo exhibit in 2016 alongside other indoor and outdoor exhibits. While Tetzloff has spoken about the incident, Miller Park Zoo has yet to release a statement on social media addressing the death of the bird. Flamingos are usually expected to live up to 30 years on average, but the University of Michigan has stated that it's not uncommon for them to live as old as 60 years in captivity.
Earlier this week, it was reported that a California teen had pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count of unlawfully taking an endangered species from a zoo. He admitted to stealing a ring-tailed lemur from the Santa Ana Zoo, making off with the 32-year-old animal after breaking into the enclosure.