A child was skipping rocks at an Illinois zoo. Now a flamingo is dead.

"This was a truly unfortunate accident, and we are working with the juvenile's family to move forward."

A flamingo eyes a guest at SeaWorld Orlando, Friday, May 10, 2018. The flamingo flock at the theme park parades each morning from a backstage habitat to their onstage pond at the front of the park. (Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel via AP)
–Joe Burbank / Orlando Sentinel via AP, File

A child struck a flamingo with a rock at an Illinois zoo, injuring it severely enough that the staff determined that the bird should be euthanized.

The child was skipping rocks into the bird’s habitat Monday when a stone struck the animal, Jay Tetzloff, the director at the Miller Park Zoo in Bloomington, Illinois, said in an email.

“Unfortunately, staff determined the best course of action given the animal’s injuries was to euthanize the bird,” he said. “This was a truly unfortunate accident, and we are working with the juvenile’s family to move forward.”

He declined to provide the age of the child.

Advertisement

The story was first reported by The Pantagraph, which said the bird’s leg was broken.

The zoo opened a new flamingo exhibit in June 2016 as part of a $16.7 million master plan, the Pantagraph reported, but it scaled down plans, including the construction of an island, as a cost-saving measure. The zoo keeps about 25 flamingos at the exhibit, CentralIllinoisProud.com reported.

Flamingos are tropical birds that live about 30 years in the wild and longer in captivity.