BLOOMINGTON — A flamingo at Miller Park Zoo was euthanized Monday after it was struck by a rock.
"A juvenile guest accidentally injured a flamingo on Monday by skipping a rock into the habitat," Jay Tetzloff, director of the city-owned zoo and parks, recreation and cultural arts department, said in an email Tuesday afternoon.
"Unfortunately, staff determined the best course of action given the animal's injuries was to euthanize the bird," said Tezloff, adding a leg was broken by a rock.
"This was a truly unfortunate accident, and we are working with the juvenile's family to move forward," said Tetzloff, adding the zoo sees no need to change the layout of the exhibit.
The project had to be downsized, redesigned and rebid after four bids submitted in 2015 came in higher than the anticipated cost for design and construction.
To save money, an island was eliminated from the plan, and city employees did demolition and landscaping work and built the fence around the exhibit.
As another cost-saving measure, the zoo decreased the original flock size of 35 flamingos. At more than 20 flamingos, Miller Park Zoo still will have one of largest flocks housed at zoos in the country, said Tetzloff.
Some residents opposed to the city spending money for a flamingo exhibit had previously protested by bringing plastic versions of the pink birds to City Council meetings and planting them in their yards.