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Flamingo at Illinois zoo euthanized after child throws rock and injures it

A flamingo at an Illinois zoo had to be euthanized after a child threw a rock inside its exhibit and accidentally hurt it. A Miller Park Zoo official said the flamingo's injuries were so severe that it had to be put down.

"A juvenile guest accidentally injured a flamingo on Monday by skipping a rock into the habitat," Jay Tetzloff, director of the zoo and Bloomington parks, recreation and cultural arts, told CBS News in a statement. "Unfortunately, staff determined the best course of action given the animal's injuries was to euthanize the bird."

The zoo said it is working with the child's family to make this is a learning experience for the future.

"This was a truly unfortunate accident, and we are working with the juvenile's family to move forward," Tetzloff said.

Local newspaper Pantagraph reported the rock broke the bird's leg. No layout changes will made to the exhibit, the paper reported.

According to the city of Bloomington's website, the flamingo exhibit at Miller Park Zoo opened in June 2016 after construction began almost a year earlier. 

The exhibit features over 20 greater flamingos –– the tallest of the six flamingo species. In the wild, they can be found in parts of the Mediterranean and Africa. 

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