HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - According to a Hattiesburg Police Department incident report, a stolen Chilean flamingo reported missing Monday night was returned Tuesday morning to the Hattiesburg zoo with life-threatening injuries. The injuries the animal sustained were so severe, the zoo announced that the flamingo had to be euthanized.
According to the incident report, the bird was found several miles from the zoo on Westover Drive near 4th Street after they received a call in reference to what appeared to be a pink flamingo on the side of the road.
Upon arrival, animal control took the bird from the scene and was returned to the zoo.
The Hattiesburg Zoo is partnering with HPD in a search for the suspects involved in the theft.
Zoo officials released video surveillance that showed four people inside the zoo around 1:00 a.m.
According to the release, an eye witness saw a group of people scaling the zoo fence around the same time carrying what appeared to be a large bird.
Zoo officials have asked for anyone with information about the incident to come forward.
The Humane Society of the United States has issued a $5,000 reward for information leading to arrest and conviction of the four suspects.
The thieves could face a felony charge of grand larceny if caught.