Staff get the bird after calling in police to deal with daily assaults.

EXMOOR Zoo has called in the riot police following a spate of increasingly vicious assaults on staff.

From spring until early summer staff have faced a steady torrent of abuse, being kicked, hit and attacked with potentially dangerous weapons.

“Problems with anti-social behaviour have been on the increase year on year,” said Danny Reynolds, zoo curator, “so we had no choice but to contact the police and our local wildlife crime officer.”

In fact, the ‘attackers’ aren’t members of the public but the zoo’s ever increasing population of cranes, which during the breeding season become particularly obnoxious and aggressive towards staff.

The solution comes in the form of riot gear and some police training, after Lynton Police donated some de-commissioned riot shields to help with the situation.