SMITHTOWN, N.Y. (WCBS/CNN) - Authorities in New York state are looking for a group of men who allegedly broke into a nature preserve and harassed the animals, even feeding beer to one of the goats.
The incident was part of a February break-in and vandalism at the nature center, home to more than 100 animals, according to the Smithtown Public Safety Department. (Source: Smithtown Public Safety Department/WCBS/CNN)
Surveillance video from Sweetbriar Nature Center in Smithtown, N.Y., shows a group of young men laughing as they pour beer down a goat’s throat. The nature center director, Janine Bendicksen, says she’s furious and disgusted by the video.
The incident was part of a February break-in and vandalism at the nature center, home to more than 100 animals, according to the Smithtown Public Safety Department.
Four men in hoodies can be seen on the property in just discovered surveillance video. Officials say they were trespassing, climbing into the pig pen, opening cages and disturbing the animals.
Bendicksen says the video was concerning, but she fears the incident may have been worse, wondering what else the suspects may have done that wasn’t seen.
"They harassed them [the animals]. They were here causing trouble,” she said.
At one point, the men discovered they were being recorded on a trail camera, which they threw in a pond on the property.
Authorities say last week, during a routine water inspection of the water quality in the pond, a volunteer found the camera and was able to recover the video from its corroded memory card.
“They definitely thought they got away with it,” Bendicksen said. "Now, I think they're going to be pretty shocked when their faces come up on the news."
Officials are working to identify the suspects, all of whom could face charges, including animal cruelty and criminal mischief.
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