Illinois zoo euthanizes flamingo injured by rock child threw at exhibit

An Illinois zoo was forced to euthanize a flamingo after the creature was struck by a rock that a child threw at its exhibit, the Pantagraph reports. 

The flamingo was put down at Miller Park Zoo in Bloomington on Monday after the rock struck and broke its leg, zoo officials told the newspaper. 

"A juvenile guest accidentally injured a flamingo on Monday by skipping a rock into the habitat," Jay Tetzloff, director of the city's zoo and parks, recreation and cultural arts department, said via email. "Unfortunately, staff determined the best course of action given the animal's injuries was to euthanize the bird."

Tetzloff added that the zoo is currently working with the child's family "to move forward," while noting that he does not expect the incident to result in a change to the layout of the flamingo exhibit. 

The exhibit opened in June 2016 as part of the zoo's $16.7 million master plan, per the Pantagraph. The flamingo project itself cost $300,000, half of which came from the city while the remainder came from private funders.

In an effort to cut costs, the wildlife park decreased the original flock size of 35 flamingos to just over 20. Still, Tetzloff said, Miller Park has one of the largest flocks housed at zoos across the country. 

Greater flamingos are often found in warm, watery regions across the world, according to National Geographic. Most prefer to linger around estuaries and saline or alkaline lakes. Though flamingos occasionally move with both of their legs, they frequently stand on one, with what seems to be a backwards leg but is actually one giant foot, the Scientific American explains. 

Read Full Story