Two peacocks at the Yunnan Wild Animal Park in China died of fright after tourists captured the birds, manhandled and violently plucked their feathers all for the sake of a selfie.
Photos of the incident, which occurred on Feb. 12, were uploaded to Weibo.
The Yunnan Wild Animal Park is home to around 6,800 peacocks and has a section where tourists can roam among peacocks to feed them and take pictures of them. However, visitors were expressly told not to touch the birds.
The peacocks, which do not normally approach humans, were lured with food by tourists who grabbed their long tails and plucked their beautiful feathers. Tourists were also seen picking the birds up for a photo opportunity.
Zookeepers rushed to the scene when they realised that visitors were roughly handling the birds but were too late. One of the two birds, a 5-year-old male peacock, died within an hour.
The zoo hasn’t announced if it will press charges against the visitors.
Like other kinds of timid animals, peacocks can be frightened to death and die from heart attacks when traumatised.