The story of the sparrow killed at the Domino Day event in the Netherlands has sparked worldwide interest. The following is the story as posted by the Associate Press:
November 14, 2005, 5:01 PM ESTAMSTERDAM, Netherlands — A sparrow knocked over 23,000 dominoes in the Netherlands, nearly ruining a world record attempt before it was shot to death Monday, the state news agency reported.
The unfortunate bird flew through an open window at an exposition center in the northern city of Leeuwarden where employees of television company Endemol NV have worked for weeks setting up more than 4 million dominoes in an attempt to break the official Guinness World Record for falling dominoes on Friday night.
Only a system of 750 built-in gaps in the chain prevented the bird from knocking most or all of the dominoes over ahead of schedule, “Domino Day” organizers were quoted as saying by the NOS news agency.
The bird was shot by an exterminator with an air rifle while cowering in a corner.
The organizers are out to break their own record of 3,992,397 dominoes set last year with a new record of 4,321,000.
The following are a few of the online articles discussing the incident:
- Sparrow executed for disturbing dominoes
- Domino killing ruffles feathers
- Probe into death of domino record sparrow
- Threats to man who shot domino-toppling sparrow
- Record chasers in a flap as bird topples domino bid
- Death threat for killer of Domino-toppling sparrow
There has even been a web site set up in honor of the fallen sparrow, complete with condolences and up-to-the-minute news (all in Dutch).
As of mid-December, the story was that the sparrow that was killed during the 2005 Domino Day event will end up in the Rotterdam Natural History Museum in the Netherlands.
The bird had been preserved in a freezer since it was shot with an air rifle after knocking over 23,000 dominoes that had been set up for an attempt at a new domino-toppling record. The deceased domino-toppler will be displayed atop a box of dominoes in the museum as part of an exhibition on sparrows.
The exterminator who killed the bird was fined 200 euro by Dutch prosecutors, because the common house sparrow had been placed on the nation’s endangered list.
Note: This post was originally published in the Dominoes forum.