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Animals die in zoo vandalism

PUBLISHED: 09:52 28 April 2009 | UPDATED: 13:47 03 July 2010

The Pets Corner attraction at Oulton Broad.

The Pets Corner attraction at Oulton Broad.

DOZENS of animals have died after intruders left a trail of devastation at a popular family zoo on the outskirts of Lowestoft.

Animals are also still missing following the attack on the Pets Corner attraction next to Nicholas Everitt Park, in Oulton Broad.

DOZENS of animals have died after intruders left a trail of devastation at a popular family zoo on the outskirts of Lowestoft.

Animals are also still missing following the attack on the Pets Corner attraction next to Nicholas Everitt Park, in Oulton Broad.

Vandals ripped open cages and smashed up pens in a spree of destruction that has sickened staff and visitors, and left about 30 rabbits and 20 chickens dead.

Cockatiels, guinea pigs, lemurs and chinchillas were also released from their enclosures, with some still missing.

Pets Corner owner Marion Holness said: “It was absolute carnage. The staff were in tears and we felt like being sick. It is pretty hard to describe.

“We are hoping someone, somewhere knows who has done this and they have the bottle to say who it is. We need people like this off the streets.

“The rabbits are handled by the public and are used to being held... but they have just been used as footballs.”

The dead rabbits came from a special enclosure for young animals recently removed from their mothers. Mrs Holness said she believed some had been kicked to death while others had subsequently died from the shock of the attacks.

“Rabbits have also been dying all week; they didn't look injured and they certainly weren't crying out in pain,” added Mrs Holness.

She added that she believed a dog had been used to kill some of the chickens, but said it appeared some had been slaughtered by human hand.

The vandalism at Pets Corner happened between 7pm on Sunday, April 19, and 9am the following morning, although details only emerged yesterday.

Distressed staff found one of the park's favourite chickens almost decapitated, and Mrs Holness added: “We had some stunning chickens, some of which were reared from birth.”

Staff and volunteers have been working hard to rebuild enclosures and repair cages following the attack at the zoo, which is in one of the most popular tourist spots in the area.

A police spokesman said: “It appears vandals gained entry to the premises... and caused considerable damage to cages and enclosures, releasing many of the animals and birds. Security at the site is being stepped up and police are making inquiries.”

Anyone with information should contact PC Baker at Lowestoft police on 01986 835300.

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