An angry crowd attacked two men suspected of killing a capercaillie in southern Germany.
The two suspects, aged 20 and 22, beat the increasingly rare bird to death with a bottle while making their way home from a party, police in Titisee-Neustadt in the Black Forest region said on Sunday.  Both said that the huge black woodland grouse had threatened them and they merely defended themselves.
After the incident on Saturday afternoon, witnesses intervened and detained the two men. The angry crowd beat the suspected bird killers and poured beer over them. Police are investigating several individuals involved on suspicion of causing bodily harm and other crimes.
The capercaillie is at risk of extinction in Germany and elsewhere in Europe. Encounters with humans are not uncommon in hilly regions where the birds live and the males are known to be very territorial.
A special action plan is currently in place in Germany's Black Forest to stabilize the species' population.
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