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Police: Vandals kill Richland Center HS students' pheasants

RICHLAND CENTER, WI (WTAQ) - Police and school officials in Richland Center are trying to get to the bottom of a vandalism incident in which 39 pheasants were killed, and 70 more escaped.

School maintenance workers found damage early Wednesday on the district's athletic fields -- including a piece of irrigation equipment and a portable toilet that were tipped over.

Wednesday evening, an agricultural teacher at Richland Center High School found that a shed was broken into for a pheasant-raising project -- and there were dead birds on the floor. More dead pheasants were found in a second shed that was entered, and three walls were damaged which apparently allowed birds to escape.

According to a school statement, the pheasant project has gone on for 16 years, funded by the local FFA.  

Baby chicks are raised from June through October, and then they're released into the wild from a landowner's property.

School officials believe both the athletic field vandalism and the pheasant killings were related.

(Story courtesy of Wheeler News Service)