Sweetbriar Nature Center vandals

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Police: Vandals Break Into Long Island Nature Center, Force Goat To Drink Beer

June 26, 2019 - 3:00 pm
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SMITHTOWN, N.J. (WCBS 880) -- The search is on for at least four suspects who allegedly broke into and wreaked havoc on a Long Island nature center. 

Police say the group of vandals broke into the Sweet Briar Nature Center in Smithtown back in February.

They allegedly let animals out of their cages, fed them fast food and even forced a goat to drink beer.

"There was both video and still pictures of at least four subjects who had trespassed into the facility, broke into several gated areas, released animals back into the wild and in one instance there was actually an Instagram of a bottle of beer being put down the throat of a goat," said Public Safety Deputy Chief Kevin McPadden. "The goat is not suffering any ill effects that I'm aware of but what kind of person breaks into a facility and proceeds to abuse a harmless animal?"

The suspects ripped a surveillance camera off its mount and tossed it into a pond.

The device was fished out of the water last month and footage was recovered.

"It was in the water for several months. One of the employees was astute technically and was able to recover photos and sound from the hard drive," McPadden said.

Police said the vandals will be charged with animal cruelty when they're caught.

Authorities are asking for the public's help to identify the suspects.