A Miller Park Zoo flamingo was euthanized Monday after an elementary school student threw a rock inside the animal’s exhibit.
A flamingo at the Miller Park Zoo had to be euthanized Monday after an elementary school student threw a rock at it. https://t.co/8GfuaJDeid
— WMBD News (@WMBDNews) May 21, 2019
The zoo said it’s working with the student’s family to make sure this is a learning experience, WMBD reported.
The greater flamingo exhibit at the zoo opened in June 2016, according to the city of Bloomington.
According to the University of Michigan, greater flamingos are found in the Middle East in countries like Iran, Turkey and Afghanistan, as well as in areas across west Africa, South America and throughout Europe. They’re often hunted across the Middle East and Africa and their eggs are often captured for profit.
They can live up to an average of 30 years, according to the university with those in captivity sometimes reaching 60 years old.
The zoo has both indoor and outdoor exhibits of animals including reindeer, the Sumatran tiger, river otters, red pandas, lemurs, bald eagles, gibbons and red wolves, according to its website.
Rhino Who Touched Toddler in Enclosure Won’t be Punished
In a similar incident earlier this year, a 2-year-old girl was injured after falling into the rhino exhibit at a Florida Zoo on Jan. 1.
Zoo officials emphasized on Jan. 2 that the rhinoceros that touched the girl who managed to get into the animal’s enclosure would not be punished.
The Brevard Zoo issued a statement clarifying what exactly happened on Tuesday.
The zoo said, repeating an earlier statement, that the young girl entered the rhino yard, but added that she “did not ‘fall in’ from an elevated area as some have speculated.”
“Rhino Encounter participants stand on ground level and are separated from the animals by steel poles. This child stumbled through the poles, at which point at least one of the rhinos touched the child with their snout. The child was retrieved in a matter of seconds and transported to a local hospital via ambulance,” the zoo said in the statement.
The welfare of the rhinos was never compromised and they will not be ‘punished’ in any way.”
Officials said they are going to implement heightened security at the Rhino Encounter, which allowed participants to touch the rhinos through the steel poles.
According to the zoo’s website, the Rhino Encounter let people “meet our magnificent, massive rhinos up close and personal” in a zookeeper-led experience. The experience was available twice daily.
It has taken place since 2009 without incident before Tuesday, the zoo said in an earlier statement. But after the incident, the encounter will be put on pause as officials review how it works.
The child has not been identified but was said to be 2 years old. Zoo spokesman Elliot Zirulni said on Tuesday that after the girl entered the rhino area, “the snout of at least one of the rhinoceroses made contact with the child.”
He clarified that the snout is below the rhino’s horn near its mouth.
The zoo has four southern white rhinoceros, which hail from central and southern Africa.
There are four of the rhinos, two males named Frankie and Howard and two females named Uzuri and Kibibi. The newest addition, Frankie, who weighs 5,300 pounds, joined the group in October.
NTD News reporter Zachary Stieber and The CNN Wire contributed to this report.