Wallaby dies after Dumfries farm park vandalism
A wallaby has died after it was left "terrorised" by a vandalism attack at a farm play park in southern Scotland.
The incident happened at Dalscone Farm Fun in Dumfries some time between 18:00 and 19:30 on Saturday.
The operators have appealed for anyone who saw a group of five youths in the area around that time to come forward.
They said the group had chased their three wallabies around their pen which had resulted in one of them becoming so distressed that it had died.
Park manager Ben Best said it was the first incident of its kind in the 15 years it had been open.
"From six o'clock on Saturday night five youths walked down the Edinburgh Road from Heathhall Garden Centre way and into our farm park," he said.
"They vandalised lawnmowers, broke hand sanitisers from our animal area then moved onto the wallaby pen where they started to chase the wallabies round the pen.
"The wallaby is a very anxious and nervous animal if it is not a keeper in their pen and it is not someone they know."
Mr Best said that when the youths had entered the wallaby pen the animals had become extremely agitated.
"Two escaped the pen, jumped out, it injured a couple of them while they were jumping out and headed for the road - but thankfully they turned and went back towards their pen," he said.
"The one that was left in - we have got three - the one that was stuck in the pen they obviously chased.
"He got so distressed that when we went out to feed the animals early on Sunday morning he was unfortunately lying in his pen in quite a bad way."
The park manager said its stomach and heart had been affected by the "severe stress" of the incident.
"Despite the best efforts of ourselves and the vets that we work with we were not able to save him unfortunately," he said.
The park has handed over CCTV footage to police in the hope of tracing the youths involved.
The five are said to be aged between 15 and 17 and have been described as follows:
- one with dark hair, wearing a dark top and grey bottoms
- another - also with dark hair - wearing a dark top and blue trousers
- a third with dark hair and all dark clothing
- another was wearing a grey top with black sleeves and grey trousers and a dark woolly hat
- the final youth had a dark puffa jacket with a light coloured hoodie underneath and dark trousers
PC Kennedy Anderson said: "We understand this incident has caused considerable distress to the local community and we are keen to trace those responsible.
"We are following a positive line of inquiry however I would ask anyone who has any information or who may be able to help us identify these individuals to call police at Dumfries on 101."