Yobs attack animals in Marwell Zoo, Hampshire


This is the shocking moment a group yobs broke into a zoo and pelted a giraffe with a bottle before abusing several other animals. 

Police scrambled armed officers and a helicopter to Marwell Zoo near Winchester, Hampshire, after receiving reports of people breaking in and throwing items at the animals.

Officers used night vision sights to help locate four people suspected of posting images on social media of the burglary, including the footage of them throwing things at the animals. 

The group threw a bottle at the giraffe, pictured

This is the moment a group of yobs threw a bottle at a giraffe at Marwell Zoo near Winchester, Hampshire on Monday night

The group kicked at a fence to aggravate a tiger who was wandering through its enclosure

The group kicked at a fence to aggravate a tiger who was wandering through its enclosure

The tiger, pictured, ran away after it was startled by the gang of three men from Gosport and Fareham

The tiger, pictured, ran away after it was startled by the gang of three men from Gosport and Fareham

The spokeswoman said: ‘Police were called at 11.40pm after a member of the public saw footage of people breaking into the site on social media.

‘They also reported that the suspects had been throwing items at the animals.

‘We are still in the early stages of this investigation, we do not believe anything has been stolen at this time.’ 

The men are also seen encouraging a tiger to approach a fence before kicking out at it and scaring it away. 

White rhinos, targeted by poachers for their valuable horns, are among those at Marwell Zoo, near Winchester, Hampshire.

Worried zoo staff called police following reports on social media that raiders were ‘throwing things’ at some of the animals.

Three men in their early 20s from Gosport and Fareham, Hampshire, were eventually arrested on suspicion of burglary after the break in at 11:40pm on Monday night.

A 22-year-old woman from Gosport was also arrested on suspicion of aiding and abetting the suspects, after police intercepted her car trying to leave the area with the men inside.

They have since been released from police custody and the investigation is ongoing.

As the armed squad searched the zoo using night vision googles they also spotted a wary cheetah keeping a watchful eye on the police dogs.

Police used night vision equipment to track down the three men who broke into the zoo

Police used night vision equipment to track down the three men who broke into the zoo

A spokesperson for Marwell Zoo said they were disgusted by the 'appalling videos' which they described as distressing

A spokesperson for Marwell Zoo said they were disgusted by the ‘appalling videos’ which they described as distressing

The

Marwell Zoo, pictured, has lost an estimated £4 million in revenue due to the Covid-19 lockdowns

The zoo is home to Southern White Rhinoceros, Amur Leopards, Giant Anteaters, Pygmy hippos and Humboldt penguins – all of which are currently endangered and at risk of extinction.

In 2017 poachers broke into a zoo in Paris and shot dead a 4-year-old white rhino before cutting off its valuable horn with a chainsaw and escaping.

A spokeswoman for Marwell Zoo said today: ‘We are aware of the appalling videos being circulated online showing our endangered animals in distress and we continue to assist the police with their investigation.

‘Our animals are all safe and those affected are being carefully monitored and cared for by our expert animal teams.

‘Marwell is a conservation charity and this has happened at a time we are facing the toughest challenge in our nearly 50 year history after losing more than £4 million in revenue due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Three men and a woman have been arrested in connection with the break in

Three men and a woman have been arrested in connection with the break in

‘We are humbled by the messages of support from our community and the generosity of those who have donated to our JustGiving fundraising appeal, which is helping us to care for our animals during this unsettling time.’

A spokesman from Hampshire Constabulary said: ‘Entry had been forced to the site, and multiple buildings within the grounds, causing significant damage

‘A 20-year-old man and a 22-year-old man, both from Fareham, and a 22-year-old man and a 22-year-old woman, both from Gosport, have been arrested on suspicion of burglary.’  

The spokesperson added: ‘Police were called at 11.40pm after a member of the public saw footage of people breaking into the site on social media.

‘They also reported that the suspects had been throwing items at the animals.

‘We are still in the early stages of this investigation, we do not believe anything has been stolen at this time.’

Gosport Police, who posted a night vision photo of a cheetah on Twitter, said: ‘A Hants Police ARV unit, a Police Dog and a Helicopter responded last night to intruders in Marwell Zoo throwing things at the animals.

‘3 Gosport males were arrested on suspicion of Burglary, a female is also in custody.

‘The Marwell Cheetahs weren’t too keen on the Police Dog!’

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