A man was in custody Sunday after police said he ripped the head off a tame duck that lived in a hotel lobby's ornamental pond.

Scott D. Clark, a guest at the Embassy Suites Hotel in St. Paul, cornered the duck early Saturday morning, grabbed the bird and ripped its head from its body while a hotel security guard and others watched, police said.

Clark then turned to onlookers and said: "I'm hungry. I'm gonna eat it," St. Paul police Sgt. John Wuorinen said.

"He was allegedly drunk," Wuorinen said.

Clark, 26, of Denver, was detained by hotel security guards until police came to arrest him.

He remained jailed Sunday on suspicion of felony animal cruelty and was scheduled to appear in court Monday to be charged.

A phone message left for Clark at the jail was not returned Sunday.

If convicted, he could face up to two years in prison and a $5,000 fine, said Tim Shields, general counsel with the Minnesota Federated Humane Societies. Shields said the incident was "unconscionable," and that having live ducks in a hotel lobby puts them at risk of being stepped on or run over by suitcases.

"I think Embassy Suites needs to take another look at this and review how they keep ducks safe, or use fish like most hotels would use," Shields said.

Calls to the Embassy Suites were referred to either the assistant general manager or the general manager, and neither of them were available Sunday.