SABOTEURS with a grudge against a tourist attraction are believed to be behind an outbreak of vandalism.
Prinknash Bird and Deer Park near Cranham was ransacked on Monday night, and two deer wandered out.
Police said one was recaptured but the other had to be put down after becoming caught in a fence.
“Whoever did this knew the park well as they used a side gate to get in, then they only targeted the area for younger children,” said Melanie Meigh, who took over the running of the park next to Prinknash Abbey from her late father Philip in 2008.
“They forced a gate and left it open, which meant two fallow deer got out - I found one of them on the A46 and it saw me and followed me back.
“They must have known the park and where to go. They were quite specific in targeting one area of the park.”
A small marquee was stolen, she said, and another was ransacked with costly prints of the Mad Hatters Tea Party apparently cut with scissors.
“One of the prints was cut in a heart shape which is bizarre and disturbing,” said Melanie. “I won’t be deterred though - we are open for business.”
The damage was valued at around £20,000 but already Whitminster-based camping firm Attwoolls has stepped in with a new marquee and printing firm Optima with new prints.
A police spokesman said the matter had been reported to them and he said the other deer had been put down due to injuries it sustained.