Kunming (China), Feb 24: A rare peacock has died in a zoo in China's Yunnan province as photos of tourists pulling its feathers went viral online.
A breeder found the dead blue peafowl, with some of its feathers gone, during the Lunar New Year holiday at the Yunnan Wild Animal Park in Kunming, Xinhua news agency reported.
Vets found that the peacock died of fright.
The zoo had a lot of visitors during the seven-day holiday. Despite signs warning them against this, some tourists tried to hold the animals, an official said.
Photos posted by the public online showed a man laughing while holding the peafowl as a woman pulled feathers from the bird. The images provoked furious reaction from netizens.
The blue peafowl, also known as the Indian peafowl, features on the Red List of Threatened Species kept by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Its beautiful tail feathers are often used by people as decorations.