Boys, 11 and 12, arrested after animals killed at college and barn owl escapes

Animal enclosures were damaged at Capel Manor College’s Gunnersbury Park campus (Picture: Google)

Two boys aged 11 and 12 have been arrested after a college in West London was broken into and several animals killed.

The children have since been released on bail following the incident at Capel Manor College’s Gunnersbury Park campus on Sunday.

Enclosures containing creatures cared for by young people and adults studying at the college had been damaged, police said.

Among the affected animals was a ‘much-loved’ barn owl named Shiraz, which escaped during the incident and has not been seen since.

The boys had been arrested on suspicion of animal cruelty and burglary.

In a statement, the Metropolitan Police said: ‘On Sunday, 25 February we received a report that several animals had been killed and animal closures had been damaged at Capel Manor College.

‘Officers visited the scene and viewed CCTV footage. A forensic examination was also carried out.’

Capel Manor College describes itself as ‘London’s environmental college’, offering opportunities for students to work on its estates, gardens, farm and zoos.

The institution said in a statement: ‘On Sunday 25 February, Capel Manor College’s Gunnersbury Park Campus experienced a break-in that resulted in damage to some of the animal areas, and sadly some animals died.

‘The safety of our staff, students, animals and community is of utmost importance to us.

‘A team is onsite co-ordinating with the police in their ongoing investigation, and additional security staff have also been deployed at the campus.’

Teaching at the college was held online on Monday before returning to campus on Tuesday.

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Principle Peter Brammall said: ‘This has been a terrible episode and my thanks go out to the dedicated team of staff who worked tirelessly over Sunday and Monday to deal with and restore the devastation left by the intruders.

‘Our campus is now back open, student lessons are back on track and the team is working with our partners to bring in new animals over the next few weeks to replace those that were sadly lost.’

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