Jay Tetzloff, the city’s director of parks, recreation and cultural arts, told Fox News on Wednesday that the child, who has not been publicly identified at this time, “accidentally injured the flamingo on Monday by skipping a rock into the habitat.” The rock struck one of the bird’s legs, breaking it. After examining the animal, zoo staff “determined the best course of action” was to euthanize it, he added.
Prior to the incident, the zoo had 25 flamingos. The animals are located near the entrance of the attraction. But Tetzloff said zoo officials are not changing the layout despite what occurred, he told The Pantagraph.
"This was a truly unfortunate accident, and we are working with the juvenile's family to move forward," Tetzloff added to Fox News.
A similar incident occurred in 2017 when a 19-year-old man threw a rock at a flamingo at an amusement park in Florida. He was later arrested on animal cruelty charges, the Tampa Bay Times reported at the time.