THIEVES have snapped up a £3,000, 12ft-long fibreglass sculpture of a crocodile from a city centre square.
The cold-hearted thieves struck life-size “Davy” between the hours of 2pm on Thursday 3rd October and 8am on Friday 4th October from its position within the gardens of Edinburgh’s St Andrew Square.
The sculpture was in the gardens as an advert for an exhibition on David Livingston’s African adventures at the National Library of Scotland.
The sculpture was filled with sand and would have weighed 180kg, which the thieves removed before making off with it.
It is thought they took it out via the west gate of the square, towards George Street.
The Library’s Deputy National Librarian Darryl Mead said: “Davy has proved a popular attraction in the gardens since he moved in three weeks ago.
“We suspect he may have been taken as a prank late at night and we appeal for his safe return.”
Andy Neal, Chief Executive of Essential Edinburgh, the business group which manages the square, is also appealing for the croc to be “returned to the wild.”
He said: “We want the crocodile to be returned to its natural habitat in the garden. It is much happier there. While we are only concerned to have it back safe and sound, and if we get it back would be content to let the matter rest, the police have been informed and CCTV cameras do operate in the area.”
“Davy is very much an exhibitionist and took his role in promoting our exhibition very seriously. He was very happy in his pond in the gardens and will be missing it very greatly.”
PC Caireen Stewart said: “This crocodile is the property of The National Library of Scotland and is very unique.
“Due to its size, it is believed that someone may have seen something regarding its disappearance. Can any person with information please contact the police on 101.”
The raid is the second attack on an Edinburgh animal statue to be revealed this week.
Today Edinburgh council said it had called in the police after they suspected Greyfriars Bobby’s nose had its finish scoured – just days after it had been restored.