How twisted is it to steal a flamingo from a zoo, injure it in the process, and leave it to die? Those actions had even sadder consequences when its mate died from injuries trying to defend her.
All of this, for a fraternity initiation. Sick. Sick. Sick.
Devin Nottis, 19, of Pascagoula, was arrested by Hattiesburg police Wednesday night.
According to a release from the University of Southern Mississippi, Nottis was a member of the Delta Nu Chapter of Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity, more commonly known as PIKE.
Rick Taylor, executive director of the Hattiesburg Convention Commission, which oversees zoo operations, said six individuals were involved, and Nottis has been charged with grand larceny. More charges could be filed as the investigation continues.
According to a Hattiesburg Police Department news release, officers learned students were on a scavenger hunt, but Nottis took a Chilean Flamingo instead of taking a picture of the animal.
The female Chilean flamingo was taken from the zoo early Tuesday, and was found injured later that morning. The bird had to be euthanized due to the extent of its injuries.
A second flamingo since has died. It was the mate of the stolen flamingo, Taylor said. It was found dead in the holding area this morning with scrapes on its body.
A necropsy was performed and gross internal injuries were discovered.
"We think the male attempted to defend his mate and was injured," Rick Taylor said.