A violent hailstorm that dropped ice pellets the size of golf balls has killed eight exotic birds at a zoo in the US state of Texas.

A spokeswoman for the Fort Worth Zoo said five flamingos, a pelican, an ibis and a black-necked swan chick were found dead after Thursday’s storm.

All of them were outside when the storm struck at around 6.30am local time on Thursday.

Eight exotic birds were killed by hail which also damaged the canopy of a carousel at the Fort Worth Zoo

Huge holes in the carousel’s canopy show just how big the stones were

Several other flamingos and ducks were treated for injures.

“We got hit hard,” spokeswoman Alexis Wilson was quoted by the local Fort Worth Star-Telegram newspaper as saying.

“Worst of all, we actually lost some animals in our bird collection,” she said.

Exotic Birds Killed By Golf Ball-Sized Hail

Numerous windows and skylights across the complex were smashed

The hailstones also left gaping holes in the canopy of the zoo’s carousel and smashed dozens of skylights and windows across the complex.

Electricity to thousands of residents in the Dallas area of Texas cut out as the storm took hold.

Dozens of vehicles were left badly damaged, including several Arlington Police Department patrol cars.