Authorities were called to a children’s zoo in Berlin, Germany after getting reports of a Syrian man raping a pony in front of shocked visitors.

The 23 year old man was reportedly spotted by a babysitter who was visiting the zoo with a child at the Kinderbauernhof (children’s farm) area of Goerlitzer Park.

“My babysitter was at Goerlitzer Park with our son when they witnessed the man carrying out a sexual act on the pony,” the woman told German newspaper Berliner Morgenpost. The woman then refused to detail what she had witnessed due to being too “traumatized”.

An employee of the zoo told the German newspaper that the babysitter had taken a photo of the man as he committed the act, and immediately contacted park staff, who subsequently called the police.

The zoo added a statement saying: “Positive things happen here all year round. It’s a shame that we are now being associated with such an incident.

“He [the suspect] is banned from our premises. If he comes back, we will report him. Something like this has never happened here before.”

Police later arrested the suspect and confirmed that a 23-year-old from Syria is facing charges for violating the Animal Welfare Act and “causing a public nuisance through sexual acts.”

If convicted he faces up to three years in prison.