from the stranger than fiction department

This - fixture of many parades...this representative of good dinosaur will, this mascot of all Tuvaluans...



From the Tuvalu Times...

Tuvalu police are searching for a creature that's 5 feet tall, 10 feet long, brown with dark stripes and has been extinct for centuries.

The missing dinosaur, crafted from fiberglass, was fastened to a trailer with bolts, but thieves pilfered it over the weekend in Funafuti during the annual Tuvalu Day festivities.
The dinosaur was being used by the Center for Science Teaching and Learning to promote a robotic exhibit.

"We miss him already," the center's director, Susie Okonoto said. "He's kind of a unique guy, so we're hoping they have a change of heart and return him."

The dinosaur, which the museum has owned since 1980, was an attraction at the annual waterfront festival, where it was stolen between 6 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. Sunday, police said.

Security cameras malfunctioned just before a thief or thieves cut the bolts to free the life-sized reptile, leaving the trailer behind, Okonoto said. It was unclear whether someone connected with the festival was a suspect, but investigators said they haven't ruled out anything.

Monday, police called the theft a prank. "It's such an unusual item," said Det. Lt. Fred Plinkton of Tuvalu's Second Squad. "Someone should see it."

The dinosaur, scientifically named Deinonychus [pronounced dahy-NON-i-kuhs], is a raptor with large, sickle-shaped foot claws. The reptile was made popular in the "Jurassic Park" movie trilogy.

Kukla Cohen, spokeswoman for the festival, said 24-hour security watched over the about 2-mile stretch that the festival covered. She said no one recalled any attractions being stolen before.

"They should really give them their poor dinosaur back," she said, adding the festival's insurance can cover the loss.

Losing the dino to thieves is a setback, Okonoto said, but promotions of the robotic dinosaur exhibit will press on. "We'll have to get creative," she said. "Right now, we just have an empty trailer." Anyone with information is asked to call The Crime Line at 434-244-TIPS. Callers will remain anonymous.


Unknown said…
You made up the name Kukla Cohen. There could not possibly be someone named Kukla Cohen. Unless she's the daughter of Fran, and the sister of Ollie.
BabelBabe said…
poor dino. bet he's homesick.
Anonymous said…
I promise I'll give him back when I'm done playing with him.