CCTV bid to find animal attackers

6 Mar 2007
Police are examining CCTV footage in a bid to trace the people responsible for an attack on animals during a break-in at a wildlife park in Dundee.
A deer was slashed with a craft knife and a terrapin died after it had its eyes poked out during the incident at Camperdown Wildlife Centre.

Keepers discovered the wounded and shocked animals when they arrived for work on Tuesday morning.

They said a female snowy owl was so shaken she had eaten her own chicks.

Elsewhere otters had been beaten with sticks and other animals were too distressed to be approached by keepers.

The break-in was one of a number of security breaches at the premises in the last few months but it is the first time that animals have been physically attacked.

A spokeswoman for Tayside Police said: "These were sickening and despicable attacks on animals.

"It is an offence to cause a protected animal unnecessary suffering which includes animals kept in zoos. This offence can be punishable by imprisonment."

Aileen Clarke, Camperdown Wildlife Centre Officer, said the incident was one of the worst she had seen since she had arrived at the centre in 1999.

She told BBC Scotland's news website: "It's pretty horrendous, and morale is very low.

"The staff are very passionate about animals and we do form a close relationship with them and it's very, very difficult to understand how anyone would want to do them any harm."

'Beggar belief'

Ms Clarke said the padlocks on the bear enclosure had been tampered with but fortunately were not broken.

"If they had broken the locks to the bear enclosure that would have been very serious. People don't realise how dangerous the animals can be."

She added that although the staff were upset, they had decided they wanted to keep the centre open.

"We all had the attitude that we are not going to let them beat us and we will carry on as normal looking after the animals to the best of our abilities."

Dundee City Council leisure, arts and communities depute convener Councillor Mohammed Asif said he was "shocked and disgusted" by the attack.

He said: "It really does beggar belief that anyone could act in this way.

"I am sure that people in the city will be as outraged as I am when they learn of this despicable incident."

Heightened security is being put in place at the centre and a security review is underway.

In May, police warned youths of the danger of wild animal attacks after two break-ins at a Dundee wildlife park, which is also home to European brown bears, lynx and wolves.

I'm almost dissapointed they didn't manage to open the bear enclosure, perhaps a mauling would make them think twice next-time they decide to abuse animals :mad:
6 Mar 2007
phykell said:
What's the difference between this and people just going out and killing animals for sport then? Only earlier I was reading about someone who wanted firearms advice on how best to "take a deer" and there are people who also enjoy shooting rats for the fun of it and don't mind telling everyone.

With regards to the OP's article - it's sick, mindless cruelty.

No difference really. Also all this they are shot and killed humanly and instantly is utter tosh :rolleyes:
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