PRAGUE – Three kids snuck into the flamingo enclosure at a Czech zoo and attacked a colony of the terrified birds with baseball-sized rocks.
They killed a male flamingo and injured another, zoo officials said.
“It’s a shame because the flamingos can grow very old,” said Martin Malac, a spokesman for the Jihlava Zoo, told CNN. “They live 30 to 40 years normally. Flamingos in captive breeding can live 70 or 80 years.”
The incident took place last week when the children — ages 5, 6 and 8 — broke into the Jihlava Zoo, located about 80 miles south of Prague.
The zoo maintenance crew ran to check on the birds when they heard strange noises from inside the enclosure, Malac said.
Officers later caught the children running from the zoo.
Malac didn’t know if they were charged, saying he’s left the matter in the hands of police.
The male flamingo had a mate and 8 small chicks. He was 16 years old.
The injured flamingo is being treated.
The attack was a “big stress” to the group because “it was before mating season,” Malac said.
The damage is estimated to be around $1,985.