Disturbing footage has emerged of animals being abused during a break-in at Marwell Zoo on Monday.
Two clips circulating online show a bottle being thrown at a giraffe’s head and a tiger being encouraged towards a fence which is then being kicked.
In both videos laughter can be heard as the incidents take place.
Three men in their 20s from Gosport, were arrested on suspicion of burglary. A 21-year-old woman was arrested on suspicion of aiding and abetting.
Armed police officers, a helicopter and a dog unit were deployed during the incident.
A spokesperson for Marwell Zoo said: “Police were called after a member of the public saw footage of people breaking into the zoo on social media.
“They also reported that the suspects had been throwing items at our animals. Entry was forced to the site and buildings within our grounds, causing significant damage.
“We are very thankful that our animals are all safe and our expert teams are on-site monitoring their wellbeing and caring for them to the highest standard.
“We’re extremely grateful to the member of the public who alerted the police and we thank the officers for their hard work as we assist them in the investigation.
“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.
“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.”