River Dell High School Bergen County teen identified breaking into Abma’s Farm NJ petting zoo and abusing animals, including riding miniature donkeys & putting lipstick on pony.
A group of teenagers are alleged to have broken into a New Jersey petting zoo and abused animals by riding on donkeys and putting lipstick on a pony, only to flee when the owner chased them away upon seeing images of their antics on social media.
Jimmy Abma, a fourth-generation farmer whose family has owned Abma’s Farm in Wyckoff, NJ, for more than 80 years, received a message on his phone at around 10:30pm on Saturday according to a Sunday Facebook post.
It showed a young girl riding on a miniature donkey.
Abma recognized the animal, which he confirmed to be his after seeing that the Snapchat image also had the caption ‘Abma’s Farm’ attached toward the bottom.
The man also told of becoming concerned since the miniature donkeys on his property are not big enough to support the weight of a teenager.
Animals left traumatized
‘Obviously, we’re closed, so that raised a concern to me right off the bat, that there’s people trespassing, the animals are somewhat in danger and I just need to figure out what’s going on,’ he told WCBS-TV.
Abma, who lives on the property, said he immediately ran outside and chased at least half a dozen youngsters off of his property, which includes a barnyard petting zoo, a farm, and a supermarket.
He was shocked to discover that the gates to the petting zoo were open and some of the animals had been traumatized.
One pony had lipstick spread on its face.
‘Couple of the animals you couldn’t even get close to,’ Abma said.
‘They were all skittish. They were all jumping around.
‘We did a full count on the animals and we’re still trying to account for all of them so it’s just a frustrating thing.’
‘These kids need to be held responsible’
He added: ‘These animals, they have the ability to kick and rear up and they have the ability to bite you.’
Abma also said he noticed two teens trying to shoplift items from his supermarket.
As he dialed 911, the two teenagers ran off.
‘Whatever these kids did they need to be held responsible for it,’ Abma told WABC-TV.
‘At the end of the day, this is our house, this is our yard, this is our livelihood.’
On Facebook, Abma wrote that all of the animals were accounted for and that the barnyard would be closed on Monday so as to allow a veterinarian to conduct a wellness check.
Why would teens abuse petting zoo animals?
Abma posted an image on Facebook on Monday showing a veterinarian checking up on one of the donkeys.
Law enforcement officials told WCBS-TV that investigators know the individuals involved.
Of note, the Daily Voice identified the young girl photographed riding on the miniature donkey as a 17-year-old student-athlete enrolled at River Dell High School in Bergen County.
Abma said he was appreciative of the outpouring of support from the community.
‘Everybody has been concerned, everybody is concerned about the animals, the well-being of everything that has gone on,’ said Abma.
‘Everybody wants us to bring these kids up to speed and make sure that they have to deal with what they did.’
‘The investigation has been turned over to the Detective/Juvenile Bureau, [which is] working in conjunction with Tyco Animal Control to identify all the parties,’ Detective Lt. Joseph Soto said.
‘If anyone has any information, please contact the Wyckoff Detective Bureau at 201-891-2121 or firstname.lastname@example.org.’