Mississippi frat prank turns deadly for flamingoes
http://news.yahoo.com | 2014-10-10 16:23

JACKSON Miss. (Reuters) - A late-night fraternity prank at a zoo turned deadly for two pink flamingoes, authorities said, and left a Mississippi freshman in jail on Thursday, facing felony charges.

Devin Nottis, a 19-year-old at the University of Southern Mississippi, was charged with grand larceny, trespassing and two counts of animal cruelty after he and nine other students sneaked into the Hattiesburg Zoo early on Tuesday and stole a female flamingo, authorities said.

"My understanding is that they were on a scavenger hunt from the fraternity and were told to take a picture with a swan," said Rick Taylor, executive director of the Hattiesburg Convention Commission, which oversees the zoo's operations.

But Nottis "thought it would be humorous to take a flamingo back to the fraternity house," he added.

Security video footage from the zoo shows a man throwing his T-shirt over the bird and taking it.

After a brief appearance at the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity house, the bird later was released on a local bike trail where it was found by a jogger, Taylor said.

It suffered severe injuries and had to be euthanized.

A male bird also suffered internal injuries while attempting to protect the female, which was its mate. He died the next day, Taylor said.

Each flamingo had cost the zoo $1,700. They were part of a new exhibit opened only one year.

Other students involved in the prank are cooperating with investigators but still could face conspiracy charges, said Hattiesburg Police Lieutenant Jon Traxler.

The university indefinitely suspended both Nottis and the fraternity's local chapter, said university spokesman Van Arnold.

The national chapter of Pi Kappa Alpha also suspended the local fraternity, officials said in a statement, adding that the international organization and its local alumni "would like the community to know how disgusted and outraged they are by the actions of these undergraduate members."


©2012-2014 Bywoon | Bywoon