Reddit | kvnmahan

Zoo Euthanizes Flamingo After Child Throws A Rock At It

A big part of growing up involves making mistakes and learning the consequences for making them. After all, our parents could tell us not to do something all day, but it was hard to listen when we had no frame of reference for what could happen if we did.

Most of the time, our big mistakes usually either led to something breaking in the house or led to us hurting ourselves.

Unfortunately, one child's actions have resulted in far more serious consequences than he was likely prepared for.

The Miller Park Zoo in Bloomington, Illinois is home to a wide and colorful array of animals.

Reddit | vsalaka

According to People, the zoo features red pandas, lemurs, reindeer, river otters, gibbons, and red wolves, and a Sumatran tiger.

But back in 2016, they added a special exhibit to that list.

Ever since June of that year, guests could come and enjoy the zoo's flamingo exhibit.

Reddit | shelbycsparks

Although the birds are native to the Middle East, West Africa, South America, and parts of Europe, they've also fascinated Americans for decades.

After all, there's a reason so many people once put plastic ones on their lawn.

However, one little boy who was only identified as "an elementary school student" apparently got a little too excited.

Reddit | cjhest1983

As People reported he began to throw rocks while he was in the flamingo exhibit.

Presumably, somebody eventually stopped him, but not before one of his rocks had already done some serious damage.

Reddit | tavdnbro

It struck one of the flamingos in the leg with enough force to break it.

Note that the flamingo pictured here is not in distress. This is just how they kneel.

Unfortunately, not every a creature can rebound from a broken leg as well as we can.

Reddit | kvnmahan

And in this case, the zoo staff clearly didn't see much hope for the bird's chances of recovery because they made the unfortunate decision to put the flamingo down.

Since that was all they could do for the flamingo, a representative from the zoo said they're now making sure the child learns from the incident.

Reddit | BonnieScottie

As the zoo's superintendent, Jay Tetzloff said, "This was a truly unfortunate accident, and we are working with the juvenile’s family to move forward."

Although the average flamingo lives for about 30 years in the wild, those in captivity have been known to reach ages as high as 60.

Reddit | kwal_awol

The flamingo's age at the time of its death was not disclosed.

h/t: People

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