Zookeepers in the Czech Republic city of Jihalava are mourning the death of one of their favourite American flamingos, after it was allegedly stoned and kicked to death by a trio of local schoolboys on Friday.
Local media are reporting the youngsters, all aged five, six and eight, climbed over a fence and began pelting the zoo's flock of 60 flamingos with stones.
After injuring two of the birds, each worth more than NZ$3000, the boys kicked one of them to death before a zoo electrician interrupted their blood-letting.
The school boys ran off and were chased by zoo staff. Two of them have since been arrested but won't face charges because of their age.
Zoo spokesman Martin Malac claims the boys' have shown little remorse for their actions.
It's expected their parents will have to pay the zoo compensation for the loss of the 16-year-old flamingo, while the other bird has been left with serious injuries.
The dead flamingo was a popular bird among zoo-goers and staff. It had survived a deadly flood in 2002, and had fathered eight children.
Zoo staff say the surviving birds have been left traumatised by the attack. They fear it will affect the zoo's breeding programme.