Soccer Player Kills Rivals' Owl Mascot

Rival player kicks bird off pitch during Colombian match
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 2, 2011 8:13 AM CST

Turns out that kicking an opposing team's mascot wasn't such a great idea: A Colombian soccer player who booted his opponents' lucky owl may face a fine and possibly even prison time after the creature died. The bird had wandered onto the field and been struck by a ball, at which point Panamanian Luis Moreno—whose team was losing 2-1—kicked the stunned bird off the pitch, the AP reports. It was taken to a vet, but died of shock two days later.

Moreno claims he was actually trying to help the owl. "I was not trying to hurt the owl," he said. "I did it to see if it would fly. What I wanted to do was get it off the field. The kick was a product of tension on the field at the time." He has been ordered to pay the vet's bill and do volunteer work at a zoo. Outraged fans are calling for Moreno to be prosecuted under Colombia's animal cruelty laws, which carry a maximum sentence of three months in prison. (Read more owls stories.)

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