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Vandals break into Children's Nature Retreat, set animals loose

Posted at 11:51 PM, Mar 05, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-06 02:54:23-05

ALPINE, Calif. (KGTV) - The San Diego Sheriff’s Department is looking for the people responsible for breaking into the Children's Nature Retreat in Alpine and setting several animals loose.

The break-in happened between Saturday night and early morning hours of Sunday morning, according to Anges Barrelet, the CEO of the Children's Nature Retreat Foundation.

The non-profit houses farm livestock, as well as exotic animals.

Barrelet says the intruders didn’t steal anything but cut open two enclosures. There are more than a 130 animals in the roughly 20 acres property, and they set more than a dozen animals loose.

Some of them were injured by cages on the way out, getting cuts and scrapes, but the staff was able to put them all back into their enclosures.

None of the animals escaped the perimeter fencing.

"It's completely ridiculous, and it's awful,” Barrelet said. "They put those animals in danger."

The enclosures have been temporarily patched up, but Barrelet says they had to close to the public for a few days until the fences can be properly repaired. She says it’s just not safe to have visitors at the park until the barriers can be fixed.

The Children's Nature Retreat hopes to reopen next week.