Luis Moreno Receives Two-Game Suspension, Fine for Kicking Owl During Match

Luis Moreno may have avoided jail time, but the Deportivo Pereira defender is still facing punishment for kicking an injured owl during a Colombian league match on Sunday.

Moreno has been given a two-game suspension from the Colombian League, along with a fine of $1,070,200 pesos ($560 USD) for kicking the perceived mascot of the home team, Atletico Junior, Yahoo Sports reports.

The league determined that Moreno provoked the crowd when he kicked the mascot, who lived in the team roof and accidentally swooped down onto the field during match play. While the owl was lying on the ground stunned by the fall, Moreno walked over and kicked the bird off the field. The defender later said he was trying to help the bird up to fly away.

"This committee has become aware through the media that Luis Moreno committed an act of cruelty against an animal during the Atletico Junior-Pereira match," the league disciplinary commission said in a statement. "The animal was practically a symbol of the local fans and, considering this aggression took place in their stadium in full view of the spectators, the act can clearly be seen as one of provocation."

The bird was rushed into veterinary care, but died from shock on Tuesday. An official has said that the death of the bird may not be Moreno's fault, as it could have been caused by excessive manhandling after the incident.

Moreno has since apologized for kicking the bird, and said that he has received telephone threats after the incident.

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