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August 2, 2015

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Fowl play: Police arrest Cal law students in killing of exotic bird at Flamingo habitat

Map of Wildlife Habitat

Wildlife Habitat

3555 Las Vegas Blvd South, Las Vegas

Justin Teixeira

Justin Teixeira

Eric Cuellar

Eric Cuellar

Two University of California, Berkeley students were arrested Friday morning after allegedly killing an exotic bird at the Flamingo hotel’s Wildlife Habitat, Metro Police said.

Eric Cuellar, 24, and Justin Teixeira, 24, were arrested and booked into the Clark County Detention Center on felony charges of conspiracy and the willful, malicious torture or killing of wildlife. Both were carrying University of California, Berkeley identification cards and identified themselves to police as law students at the school.

The two were caught on video surveillance Friday morning chasing a 14-year-old helmeted guinea fowl into the trees of the wildlife habitat. A witness observed one of the suspects emerge from the trees, carrying the body and severed head of the bird, police said.

Police arrived at the habitat shortly after 9:30 a.m., where witnesses told them two males were throwing the dead bird, discussing the killing and laughing.

The Flamingo’s Wildlife Habitat, open 24 hours a day, has about 500 animals, including 10 pink flamingos and a pond of black swans, ducks, helmet guineafowls and a variety of fish.

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