Here’s a pro tip from The Daily Caller, America: Don’t steal birds from the zoo, rap about your theft in a video and then post your theft-rapping video on the Internet.
Just don’t do it — even if you really want to impress the dudes at the frat where you are pledging.
Devin Nottis, a Pi Kappa Alpha (PIKE) pledge at the University of Southern Mississippi, failed to heed this sage advice. Now he faces felony charges.
Nottis, 19, was participating in a late-night PIKE scavenger hunt last week. His one-in-the-morning, scavenger-hunt mission was to snap a picture with himself and a flamingo at the Hattiesburg Zoo, reports area NBC affiliate WTVA.
Nottis apparently decided it’d be way cooler and way funnier if he just stole a flamingo instead. So, he scaled a 10-foot fence, threw a T-shirt over the bird and swiped one of the $2,000 birds.
He apparently had accomplices. Police explained that they received a 2 a.m. phone call concerning a handful of male trespassers inside the zoo. The police tipster observed that the trespassers “had a duck or a goose with them,” according to Fox station WITI.
Later, for Snapchat posterity, Nottis recorded a video of himself shirtless and rapping about his exploits, according to the New York Daily News.
A sampling of the rap lyrics goes like this:
“Yeah, see I went to the zoo, with my ******
And my [inaudible] … took the flamingo and took back to the house”
The events that followed are unclear. At some point, though, the frat brothers decided it was not a good idea to have a zoo flamingo running around the frat house. So, Nottis dumped the bird near a bicycle trail.
The next morning, police found the stolen female Chilean flamingo. It had a broken leg. Zoo officials decided they had no choice but to euthanize the bird.
A second flamingo, a male, also died as a result of the scavenger hunt hubbub. Details are scant about its death, but it zookeepers believe it had been defending the female.
Nottis now faces a bevy of criminal charges including grand larceny, trespassing and animal cruelty.
The Southern Mississippi administration has indefinitely suspended the student as well. He has been banned from campus except to the extent he must attend school judicial proceedings.
The Southern Miss PIKE chapter is also in serious trouble. School officials have forced it to suspend all operations. The PIKE national office has also suspended the chapter for 30 days.
Zoo officials said they are now considering hiring night security guards as a result of the two dead flamingos.