Boys Arrested after Break in at Gunnersbury Park

Capel Manor says that owl escaped and animals died during the incident

Missing barn owl, Shiraz (left) and the Capel Manor Gunnersbury Campus
Missing barn owl, Shiraz (left) and the Capel Manor Gunnersbury Campus

February 28, 2024

Two boys aged 11 and 12 have been arrested on suspicion of animal cruelty and burglary after a break in at Capel Manor College’s Gunnersbury Park Campus.

They were detained on Sunday 25 February after some damage was sustained to the areas within the walled garden in which animals were kept, some of whom died. The boys have since been bailed.

The college says that it is coordinating with the police in their ongoing investigation, and additional security staff have also been deployed at the campus.

The College’s much-loved white barn owl Shiraz escaped during the break-in and is believed to still be in the local area. She has a blue ring on her left ankle. If you see her do not approach her but call the College’s emergency 24-hour line on 07713 568 110 and call the RSPCA between 7am to 10pm on 0300 1234 999 to report the sighting.

Teaching at the college was moved on line the day following the break in but resumed on Tuesday.

Peter Brammall, Capel Manor College’s Principal said, “This has been a terrible episode and my thanks go out to the dedicated team of staff who worked tirelessly over Sunday and Monday to deal with, and restore the devastation left by the intruders. Our campus is now back open, student lessons are back on track and the team are working with our partners to bring in new animals over the next few weeks to replace those that were sadly lost.”

Officers investigating the case area asking witnesses to call 101, quoting the reference CAD1639/25Feb.

The Gunnersbury Park Campus is one of our five the college has around London, offering full and part-time courses for school leavers and adults interested in animals, plants and the environment.

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