An Indiana University student has admitted tossing a guinea pig tied to a makeshift parachute out of an eighth-floor dormitory.
The 19-year-old student, who could face a felony charge of animal cruelty, told IU police that Thursday’s incident was a “prank gone bad.”
IU police officer Brice Boembeke said the student told police he had intended to retrieve his pet once it floated to safety, but it got stuck in a tree on the way down.
Janitors at Briscoe Quadrangle rescued the animal, which was slightly injured.
Boembeke said the student admitted throwing his pet out the window of an eighth-floor dorm room across the hallway from his own as other students egged him on.
“It seemed like one of those things where somebody had an idea, and it was taken to the next level,” he said. “It definitely got out of hand.”
A felony charge of animal cruelty has been forwarded to the Monroe County prosecutor’s office for review, but no charge had been filed as of Friday afternoon.
Jason Eller, a Bloomington animal control officer, said the student could be ordered to pay a $500 fine for cruelty to an animal. Boembeke said the student might also face some type of disciplinary action from IU.
The guinea pig is doing well at the Bloomington Animal Shelter, where staff named the rodent Noel in honor of the holiday season, said shelter manager Leigh Ann Hoffacker.