Two men who allegedly broke into the Omega animal park in Montebello, Que., and killed three wild boars and an elk are facing several criminal charges.
One of the men was released, while the other was held in custody.
A Parc Omega employee called police at about 9:30 p.m. Thursday and reported seeing a vehicle illegally enter the site, according to Sûreté du Québec Sgt. Marc Tessier, a spokesperson for Quebec provincial police.
The employee also allegedly said he heard noises, "possibly gunshots," Tessier said.
Police arrested two men, 42 and 21 years old, in a vehicle in which four animal carcasses were discovered — three wild boars and an elk, Tessier said.
Firearms were also found.
Park confirms animal killings
In a statement issued Monday afternoon, Parc Omega confirmed that four of its animals were killed.
The men were taken into custody and appeared in court on Friday. They were back in court Monday.
The 42-year-old man was released with conditions including not to go to the park, not to communicate with the co-accused, not to carry a firearm and not to consume drugs or alcohol.
The 21-year-old remained in custody.
They are charged under the Criminal Code with willfully killing animals kept for a lawful purpose, breaking and entering a place other than a dwelling house, illegally transporting firearms, and unlawfully firing and using a firearm during a break and enter.
The case is back in court Friday.
An isolated event, park says
In a statement sent by email, Parc Omega management wanted to reassure the public.
"Two individuals broke in and unfortunately killed four of our animals. Safety protocols are in place at the park and everything has been followed to the letter," reads the statement.
Managers said surveillance cameras, security barriers and a security officer are on-site.
"We want to reassure customers that everyone is safe and that this kind of situation is an isolated event. We have put all the necessary efforts in place to ensure that the situation does not happen again, for everyone's safety and for that of our precious animals."