Farm: Teens rode donkeys, let animals loose, left them ‘skittish’
WYCKOFF – Police said they are working with animal control officials to track down the teenagers involved in a weekend trespassing incident at a family farm that runs a petting zoo.
Wyckoff Police said Saturday around 10 p.m., three officers responded to Abma’s Farm, where members of the Abma family said they were hearing people in the petting zoo area, closed to the public overnight.
Police said they saw what appeared to be two males, who ran from the area before officers could stop them. A Snapchat screenshot was then forwarded to members of the Abma family, which showed a possible female teen riding a mini donkey in the petting zoo, according to police. New Jersey 101.5 has obscured the person's facial features in the screenshot above, as she may be a minor.
Police said law enforcement in their detective/juvenile bureau have been working alongside Tyco Animal Control to identify those responsible for the incident.
In a Facebook post this weekend, the farm said "tresspassers broke into our Barnyard Petting Zoo and disturbed our animals."
"They opened gates and rode our miniature donkeys, who should not be supporting that much weight," the farm wrote.
It said it was important to "explain the seriousness of this break in."
"First and foremost, we are a working farm, and four families (and four generations) live here. This is our home. Second, from a human safety standpoint, breaking in to animal pens with no animal training is dangerous. Animals can kick, rear up, and trample you. In the dark, anything can happen," the farm wrote.
It continued: "The safety of OUR animals has been compromised and that IS. NOT. OKAY. Our animals are now shaken and (skittish) compared to their normal relaxed nature. This is very troubling to us. A couple of our animals got loose from gates left open but after thoroughly searching this morning, all animals are accounted for."
In an Instagram post Monday, Abma's Farm thanked the public for voicing support, and said the animals were being checked by a veterinarian for any injuries they may have suffered.
"We wish to move forward and get past this situation as quickly as possible," the post also said.
On Facebook Monday, Gov. Phil Murphy said "Animal abuse has no home in New Jersey. Abma’s Farm is a pillar of the Bergen County community, and we will fully support them and local law enforcement to hold the perpetrators accountable."
Anyone with information can contact the Wyckoff detective bureau at 201-891-2121 or email@example.com.