A trio of schoolboys aged between five and eight-years-old reportedly kicked a flamingo to death after pelting it with stones at a zoo in the Czech Republic.
The youngsters reportedly climbed over the fence of the Jihlava Zoo before launching their attack on the flock of American flamingos.
“First, they pelted them with stones," zoologist Jan Vašák told the Prague Morning news site, adding that one of them started to kick one of the birds.
By the time an electrician interrupted the boys, aged five, six and eight, one flamingo had already been killed and another had sustained serious injuries.
Staff at the Zoo in Jihlava, a small city around 80 miles south of the country's capital Prague, tried to catch the boys but they managed to escape.
But Mr Vasak said that "one of them had a distinct yellow sweatshirt" and police were able to trace two of them using CCTV footage.
"The third escaped,” he said.
After the child suspects refused to speak with investigators, they were arrested, according to local media reports which said their parents may have to pay compensation to the zoo.
Martin Maláč, a spokesman for the zoo, said the boys had expressed no remorse for what they had done.
The dead flamingo was a male, who had survived floods at a zoo in Prague in 2002, before he was hastily transferred to the Jihlava Zoo. A father of eight, he was valued at about £1,700.
The birds are reported to have been “terribly frightened” by the attack and staff at the zoo fear this could affect their breeding.
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