Animal Rights

Frat Prank Kills Female Zoo Flamingo, Male Dies Defending Mate

| by Sarah Fruchtnicht

A 19-year-old Mississippi college student misunderstood a fraternity scavenger hunt and instead of taking a picture of a flamingo, he stole one from the Hattiesburg Zoo, according to police.

Devin Nottis, a member of Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity at the University of Southern Mississippi, took the female Chilean flamingo at 1:08 a.m. Tuesday. At the time a second flamingo, her mate, died from injuries while trying to save her from her abductor.

The female was found later that morning a few miles away. She sustained such severe injuries that she had to be euthanized after she was returned to the zoo, the executive director of the zoo Rick Taylor told ABC News.

Nottis was charged with grand larceny, according to Hattiesburg police spokesman Lt. Jon Traxler.

Zoo security cameras captured six people, including Nottis, the night of the attack, Traxler said.

"This is a terrible and heinous act that has occurred, and inconsistent with the values of our institution," USM Vice President for Student Affairs Joe Paul said in a statement.

The fraternity was reportedly ordered to suspend all activities until further notice from the university. The frat’s national office has placed the chapter on administrative suspension.

Paul said Nottis is banned from campus for any reason other than judicial proceedings with the dean.

Sources: Gawker, ABC News

Image credit: Flickr Creative Commons / Tambako The Jaguar, Gawker / Shutterstock