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A bad week for Czech zoo animals

The deceased flamingo. Photo: ČT Jihozápad, Facebook

A flamingo was brutally beaten to death, while another zoo has announced that it will dehorn its rhinos.


PRAGUE – Two zoos in the Czech Republic last week made international headlines in separate instances in what has become a sobering reminder of persisting animal cruelty problems in zoos throughout Europe.

In the more disturbing of the two events, three boys, aged 5, 6 and 8, were taken into custody after breaking into the Jihlava Zoo, about 80 miles south of Prague, and violently attacking a flock of flamingos with rocks and sticks. According to The Washington Post, the children scaled a fence to reach the flamingo exhibit before attacking the flock, killing one and seriously injuring another. One of the children reportedly kicked one of the injured animals.

The flamingo bled to death after suffering a broken leg bone and severed arteries. It was a 16-year-old father of eight.

Though the attackers face criminal offenses, they have thus far not been disciplined due to their young age. Their parents however have to pay up to US$2,000 in damages.

The incident sparked outrage online, with residents voicing their displeasure on social media. “What sort of an uneducated child would do this?” said one commentator.

Meanwhile, a zoo in Dvur Kralove has said that it will remove the horns from its herd of rare rhinos following a brutal attack earlier this month at a zoo in France that involved poachers shooting dead a white rhino and hacking off its horns.

According to reports, the zoo said that it will use a chainsaw to remove the horns it a measure would serve to protect the rhinos from poachers in the Czech Republic.

“The attack put us on alert, the danger is really intense,” said Andrea Jirousova, spokeswoman for the zoo.

The Dvur Kralove zoo has a herd of 21 black and southern white rhinos, three of which are calves that will not undergo the procedure.

Black market rhino horn sells for up to $60,000 per kilogram, according to Agence France Presse.


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