Chester Zoo to Pursue Legal Action after Animals Injured During YouTube-broadcast Break-in


In their endless quest for online vindication in the form of likes, retweets, and subscribers, some aspiring online personalities go to extreme lengths, but what many seem to forget is that there is and should be a distinct line that you do not cross purely in the name of YouTube views. When it comes to incidents which cross that line, I think most would agree that the endangerment of innocent animals makes the cut.

Apparently this was not common knowledge amongst a group of YouTube vloggers who filmed and posted footage of themselves trespassing within the grounds of Chester Zoo, during which time they allegedly caused alarm among some of the animals which subsequently led to a Grevy’s Zebra suffering an injury to its hind leg. While this may seem like a relatively minor incident, the consequences could potentially have been much worse, and as such Chester Zoo have publicly condemned the group and announced their intention to pursue legal action in a clear warning to other would-be trespassers in search of their 15 minutes of fame.

Jamie Christon, Chester Zoo's chief operating officer, said, “We’re aware of the small group who trespassed onto the zoo site a couple of weeks ago and we are taking legal action.

“There was damage to zoo property including a set of customer toilets following the trespass. It appears that the group also startled a Grevy’s zebra, an endangered species that we care for as part of a Europe-wide breeding programme, as the animal had an injury to its hind leg following the trespass. Thankfully the animal has since been making a good recovery, helped by our senior keepers and veterinary teams who were quickly on site.

“With over 15,000 animals in our care, including large carnivores and predators, trespass onto the site is both unacceptable and extremely dangerous. The members of the group appear to have little or no regard for their own safety, or the safety and welfare of the animals.

“We condemn the irresponsible actions of the group and are taking the matter extremely seriously.”

As for the intent behind the making of the now-deleted YouTube video, it is believed that the vloggers were taking part in some form of “overnight challenge” in which they were dared to partake in a series increasingly dangerous stunts, of which the incident at Chester Zoo was likely just one among many other potentially harmful and foolish activities, although that is admittedly pure speculation.

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