A beautiful helmeted guinea fowl named Turk was beheaded last Friday in Las Vegas.
Why did this happen? Apparently two law students from Berkeley, California thought this would be really funny: surveillance video allegedly shows them laughing and throwing around the body of a dead, 14-year-old helmeted guinea fowl at the Flamingo Hotel on the Las Vegas strip.
What kind of sick, depraved mind thinks it is fun to terrorize and decapitate an exotic bird?
The bird was part of the hotel’s Wildlife Habitat, described thus by the hotel on their website:
Appropriately enough, the Flamingo Las Vegas resort is home to a flock of live Chilean Flamingos! These birds, as well as a collection of other feathered friends, fascinate our guests and populate our Wildlife Habitat.
In addition to our namesake, you’ll find swans, ducks, koi, and turtles populating these grounds. All of our animals are carefully tended by experts and live on islands and streams surrounded by sparkling waterfalls and lush foliage.
But instead of admiring the wildlife display, these two barbarians decided to climb over the fence, chase this bird into a tree, and kill it. According to witnesses, the two emerged carrying the body and severed head of the bird.
Police were called to the scene around 9:35 a.m. on Friday morning, and they arrested Eric Cuellar and Justin Teixeira, both 24 and students at the Berkeley School of Law.
From Fox News:
“I (expletive) killed wildlife,” said Teixeira to Cuellar, as he reportedly threw the body of the dead bird to him, a witness told police.
The suspects were arrested and refused to talk to police. Both asked to speak to lawyers.
Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson said criminal charges have not been officially filed yet but are likely to come in the next few weeks.
The two men were booked at the Clark County Detention Center on suspicion of conspiracy and willful, malicious torture or killing of wildlife. They have since made bail.
Meanwhile, according to the San Francisco Chronicle:
Christopher Edley Jr., the head of UC Berkeley School of Law, said he was concerned about “the students’ actions off campus, but it’s up to the Nevada legal system to examine the facts and rule in this case. It’s premature to speculate about any possible consequences. The justice system must run its course.”
Let’s just hope these young thugs never become full-blown lawyers.
41 states, plus the District of Columbia, have felony provisions for animal cruelty. These laws are in place to deter violence by humans as well as to protect animals by imposing penalties for cruelty.
Thankfully, Nevada is one of these states. Cooney’s Law, which was passed last year, makes the intentional killing of an animal a felony in Nevada.
The bill was named after a northern Nevada shelter dog who was brutally tortured with a box cutter and killed by his owner; at the time that crime only came with a misdemeanor charge.
Under the new law, if these two young men are found guilty, they could face between one and four years in prison.
What do you think? Is that justice?
At least this time, what happened in Vegas will not stay in Vegas.
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