AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) - Eight people have either been arrested or cited by police for their roles in stealing an emu in a rural Texas town and beating it to death, the Comanche County Sheriff's Department said on Thursday.


"The incident began in the early morning hours of Sunday, Feb. 15 during a party attended by a large number of area high school students," it said.


One person, aged 18, was arrested for charges including animal cruelty. Seven minors were given citations for criminal trespass and could face charges including animal cruelty and theft, it said.


The department said it has obtained photographs and videos of the incident that took place near Hasse, about 120 miles north of Austin, but officials did not give any details on who owned the animal.


(Reporting by Jon Herskovitz; Editing by Susan Heavey)