HATTIESBURG, Miss. -- A 19-year-old college student on a scavenger hunt has been charged with snatching a Chilean Flamingo from a zoo in what police say was a prank gone wrong.

Hattiesburg police spokesman Lt. Jon Traxler says Devin Nottis of Pascagoula is charged with grand larceny. The University of Southern Mississippi student was arrested Wednesday night.

The executive director of the organization that runs the Hattiesburg Zoo says the female bird was taken at 1:08 a.m. Tuesday and located several kilometres away. Rick Taylor says it was returned to the zoo and had to be put down because of its injuries.

Hattiesburg police say the students were on a scavenger hunt but Nottis took a flamingo instead of taking a picture of the bird.

Security cameras captured images of the kidnappers.