Police have arrested a 23-year-old Syrian for allegedly raping a pony at a children’s zoo in Berlin; the man’s crime was witnessed by shocked visitors who took a photo of the incident and handed it over to the authorities.
The incident occurred at around 3pm on Friday, November 3 at the Kinderbauernhof (children’s farm) area of the German capital’s Goelitzer Park. The man was spotted by a babysitter, who was visiting the zoo with a child.
“My babysitter was at Goerlitzer Park with our son when they witnessed the man carrying out a sexual act on the pony,” a woman told the Berliner Morgenpost, adding that her babysitter had informed park staff about the incident but is unwilling to talk about it anymore because it was too traumatizing.
An employee of the zoo told the newspaper that the babysitter had taken a photo of the man as he committed the act, and immediately contacted park staff, who called the police. When he realized that he had been seen, the young man got off the animal and disappeared into the park.
Having seen the photo, park wardens found the man and apprehended him before he left the park; they then handed him over to police.
“A man is believed to have assaulted a pony in Goerlitzer Park,” the Berliner Morgenpost reported.
Berlin police have confirmed that a 23-year-old from Syria is facing charges for violating the Animal Welfare Act and “causing a public nuisance through sexual acts.” The first charge carries a sentence of up to three years in prison or a fine, while the second carries a sentence of up to one year in prison or a fine.
A favorite among young families, the children’s zoo in Berlin is home to two ponies, two donkeys, half a dozen sheep and goats as well as about ten each of chickens, ducks and rabbits.
The zoo employee said that all the staff are very disappointed about the rape and hope it won’t leave a lasting impression on the park’s reputation.
“Positive things happen here all year round. It’s a shame that we are now being associated with such an incident.”
“He [the suspect] is banned from our premises. If he comes back, we will report him. Something like this has never happened here before,” she declared.