The shooting of a sparrow on the set of a Dutch world record domino-toppling attempt sparked outrage among animal lovers and led to threats to staff.
TV firm Endemol said it felt “terrible” about the killing. The head of a bird protection agency appealed for calm.
A special website received thousands of messages of condolence, but some say the bird did not do itself any favours by knocking over 23,000 dominoes.
The bird’s detour into the exhibition centre in the northern city of Leeuwarden earlier this week proved disastrous. Staff had spent weeks setting up four million dominoes.
The bird’s fate was sealed when it knocked over 23,000 and organisers feared it could knock down more. An exterminator cornered the sparrow and shot it.
The backlash followed as soon as the news got out – especially as the common house sparrow was put on the endangered list in the Netherlands last year.
A tribute website was set up attracting more than 24,000 hits, the Dutch animal protection agency threatened to investigate, and radio stations offered bounties for anyone who could knock down more of the dominoes before the event.
Dave Winfield was unavailable for comment.