Telford exotic zoo break-in: Watch the CCTV footage
Watch CCTV footage as three masked thieves steal a £13,500 mini-digger from Telford's Exotic Zoo.
Businesses, tradesman, and the public have rallied round Telford's Exotic Zoo after it was hit by thieves who smashed gates and pens while stealing the digger.
Zoo staff at were left horrified to discover the damage which had been caused by three masked men, breaking in and taking the machinery.
While driving the vehicle out they smashed a couple of the zoo's enclosures, gates and fencing – but they were caught on CCTV as they slowly drove the digger out of the premises.
Watch the CCTV footage here:
Police are now working to track down the culprits down with CCTV footage and pictures having been seen by hundreds of thousands of people on the internet.
With the zoo set to open tomorrow, a succession of kind-hearted local businesses, workers, students and the public have pulled out all the stops to make sure it will be ready to open.
As well as the physical offers of help, more than £4,000 has been raised towards a £15,000 target through donations.
Jewsons were one of the companies to help, dropping a digger and dumper off to allow the zoo to finish work on the new disabled path.
Zoo office manager Mel Garton said they had been overwhelmed by the kindness of the community in response to what had been an incredibly upsetting incident.
She said: "We just cannot believe the support we have been getting. It is amazing.
"We have currently got a group of students from Harper Adams here helping. They messaged us and just wanted to come down and help.
"We just have such a good link with our customers and that is because it is not just just our zoo, it is their zoo too, so it has affected them as well as us."
Mel said that tradesmen, builders and landscapers had offered their help.
She said: "It is weird because even though what happened has shocked and upset us all as well, because people know we are a not-for-profit community interest company and all the money goes straight to the animals, the response has been amazing and the support from the community is just great. The public have been so brilliant and it is just something positive to come from it."
Mel said they had received thousands of messages of support as well as donations to the gofundme page.
She also said the zoo would be ready to open on Saturday, and that people could enjoy some of the new animals, sich as the chinchillas.
To donate visit gofundme.com/help-exotic-zoo