As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Sunday 29 June 2014

Zookeeper who battered ostrich to death with shovel blames killing on innocent pony

By Alex Wellman

Colleagues of the zookeeper saw him beating the giant bird and told their supervisors who confronted the man only for him to blame a pony

A bungling French zookeeper who beat an ostrich to death with a shovel blamed the killing on an innocent pony.

The unnamed zookeeper falsely accused the pony after shocked colleagues at a zoo in La Teste-de-Buch, southwest France, discovered the giant bird had died.

The ostrich shared a pen with an elderly pony and despite a number of co-workers seeing the man beat the animal over the head with a shovel, he claimed he had nothing to do with it.

According to the New York Daily News, the man claimed the bird had been killed by a savage kick from its equine roommate.

However, closer inspection showed that the bird had died from a blow to the head from a shovel.

The man was sentenced to jail for six months, four of which were suspended, and ordered to pay a fine of 5,000 Euros as well as being fired from his job of 15 years.

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