• Vandals broke in to zoo in the region of Tasmania and opened 30 cages and enclosures
  • Nine birds were found dead and mutilated with their heads crushed and ripped off
  • Over 60 animals are still missing from Tasmania Zoo

Nine rare birds were brutally slaughtered and decapitated and over 60 animals are missing after a break-in at a zoo in Australia.

 Zoo owner Dick Warren arrived on Friday morning to find his animals mutilated and the doors to over 30 enclosures hosting birds, wallaby, monkeys and quolls – an endangered marsupial species – cut open.

Police believe several perpetrators broke into Tasmania Zoo in Riverside, Tasmania during the night and opened the cages.

Slaughtered: The birds were found decapitated or with their heads crushed when the owners arrived at Tasmania Zoo on Friday morning

The zoo-workers were forced to clean up the bodies of their treasured birds after the vandals killed them.

Dick Warren, who opened the zoo nine years ago, said the scene that met him yesterday morning was ‘heartbreaking’.

They’ve just caught them and banged their heads and pulled their heads off,’ he told ABC Television.

How could people do this sort of thing? It hits you so hard.’

Warren’s daughter Rochelle Penney, who co-owns the private zoo with her father, said they have spent the past days trying to re-capture the lost animals, as many will not survive in the wild.

Anger: A visibly upset Mr Warren spoke to Australian TV about his ordeal and said the vandalism and bird murders had hit him hard

‘A lot of our animals are in captivity for a reason and they won’t survive on their own,’ she told CNN

Although a majority of the animals were re-captured more than 60 animals remain missing today, including two rare swift parrots, a yellow-tailed black cockatoo and five quolls.

Animal keeper Courtney McMahon said the missing quolls has had a devastating impact on the zoo’s breeding program.

The rare mammal also goes by the name ‘native cat’ and is endangered in its natural habitat.

Despite its moniker the carnivorous marsupial is a closer relative to kangaroos and Tasmanian devils than cats, and the loss of the five animals has been a painful hit for Tasmania Zoo.

‘We’re trying to increase numbers of threatened species and we’ve lost a good part of that program,’  she said.

Two chainsaws were also stolen from the zoo and police are appealing for witnesses.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2183679/Nine-birds-decapitated-dozens-animals-missing-vandals-break-Australian-zoo.html#ixzz22cfEpsh9