Men sentenced after breaking into Marwell Zoo and hitting giraffe with bottle before posting video on Snapchat

Two men have been sentenced after they broke into a zoo during lockdown and threw a bottle at a giraffe before posting a video on Snapchat.

Bradley Green, 24, and Nathan Daniels, 21, broke into Marwell Zoo in Hampshire and threw the object at a giraffe leaving it with a leg injury.

The pair broke into the zoo on 15 February 2021 when it was closed during lockdown and acted in a "deplorable fashion", according to a sentencing judge.

Appearing at Winchester Crown Court, the pair were sentenced to a 12-month community order with 120 hours of unpaid work and ordered to pay £750 compensation each to the zoo.

Judge Richard said: "You, Green, broke a door at the rear of the giraffe house. You threw the bucket and bottle of disinfectant into the enclosure and you threw something at the giraffe which we see from the video that you took.

"It struck the giraffe on the neck. One of the giraffes had an injury to its leg, with two long gashes, which was discovered the next morning.

"It happened from the giraffe being distressed, knocking itself against the door."

Penguins enclosure also damaged in break-in

A police helicopter and armed officers were called out after someone spotted the video on the social media site and called 999.

The injured giraffe was called Ursula, prosecuting Ellie Fargin said.

The zoo's exterior fence was cut so the pair could get into the grounds, while the doors of the giraffe and penguin enclosures were damaged.

Ms Fargin said the morning after the attack, a plastic disinfectant bottle, sticks and stones were found in the tiger enclosure, while a bucket and another bottle of disinfectant were found in the giraffe enclosure.

The penguins displayed "behaviour consistent with anxiety and distress from being disturbed".

Green, of Salterns Estate, pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal and damaging the giraffe enclosure.

Daniels, of Alexander Grove, pleaded guilty to damaging the penguin enclosure and a fence surrounding the zoo.

Daniel Reilly, defending Green who is said to have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, said his client has "deep regret and remorse" for his actions and threw the bottle at the giraffe "to get its attention".

Graham Gilbert, defending Daniels, said: "The behaviour showed a marked lack of maturity on his behalf."