2 Arrested in Killing of Exotic Bird

By Joe Bartels , Chris Benka , Nicole Lucht

Published 10/12 2012 03:35PM

Updated 10/13 2012 10:26PM

Copyright 2017 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

LAS VEGAS -- Metro Police arrested two Berkeley law school students for killing an exotic bird Friday morning at the Flamingo Hotel's wildlife habitat.

Eric Cuellar and Justin Teixeira, both 24, were arrested after witnesses reported two men throwing a dead bird, while laughing and talking about killing it.

The large bird was a 14-year-old helmeted guinea fowl.

Cuellar and Teixeira were captured on video surveillance chasing the bird into trees and then emerging carrying the bird's body and severed head.

"According to the security people, the men were laughing and joking about the fact of what they had done," Sgt. John Sheahan of Metro Police said. "Security had allegedly seen these men chasing the bird into a brushy treed area of that habitat and then coming out of that area with the bird in two pieces."

The pair told police officers they attend Berkeley University in northern California, but refused to speak with officers otherwise. Berkeley student identification cards were found in their possession.

Animal rights activists are outraged, but are glad the pair are being tried under a tough new law that makes killing an animal a felony.

Cuellar and Teixeira were booked into the Clark County Detention Center and are facing felony charges of conspiracy and willful malicious torture/killing of wildlife.

Anyone with any information concerning this incident is urged to contact Crime Stoppers by phone at 702-385-5555.

Copyright 2017 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.