Three pygmy goats die after toxic plant thrown into zoo enclosure

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Three pygmy goats died after they ate toxic rhododendron leaves that intruders threw into their enclosure at a children’s petting zoo.

Two of the African goats died, and a third had to be put down after they were poisoned following a break-in at the zoo on Sunday.

Four more of the animals of the 12-strong herd are being treated after eating the extremely poisonous leaves, according to the Mail.

Rhododendron leaves and flowers are dangerous if eaten by animals and humans.

Symptoms can lead to blindness, seizures and death, and include vomiting, diarrhoea and stomach cramps.

The goats that died were named Adele and Mirabele, and the one that needed to be put down was called Jet, according to the newspaper.

Police said the thugs scaled a wall and broking into the Walton Hall and Gardens petting zoo in Warrington, Cheshire, between 8pm and 10pm.

Officers are examining CCTV footage to try and identify the culprits.

They reportedly ripped a rhododendron bush out of the ground and threw it into the goats’ enclosure.

Cheshire police said they were investigating whether the goats’ deaths were due to deliberate poisoning.

The zoo spokesman told the Daily Mail: “We are very sorry to say three of our goats have died after they were poisoned with rhododendron leaves.

“It appears someone has broken into the zoo and fed the leaves to the animals. While we hope this wasn’t done with malice, the result is the same.

“We’ve lost three of our well-loved animals and several more are ill.”

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