'Mindless' vandals target Exmouth's dino trail again
PUBLISHED: 10:52 07 January 2020 | UPDATED: 14:49 07 January 2020
Picture: Jake Hull
Exmouth's popular dino trail has been targeted again - just one week into the new year.
A diplodocus statue, sited in the Strand, was uprooted from its concrete base, broken apart and scattered around the area.
The vandalism is the latest in a long line of incidents to have affected the trail, which has delighted residents and visitors alike since it was implemented in summer last year.
John Thorogood, chairman of Exmouth Town Team - the organisations responsible for the running the trail - branded the incident as 'mindless vandalism'.
He said: "It is a few individuals who seem to think it clever to damage our items that are primarily there for the public, and primarily for the enjoyment of children."
Mr Thorogood said he does not know if the dino model has been damaged enough to warrant a bill - instead he thinks it has been unplugged part by part and left on the ground.
Following the incident, two men have offered to repair the dinosaur free of charge.
Mr Thorogood, who commended their generosity, added: "We are very grateful to all the comments that the public have made in support of the dinosaurs.
"They are a major asset to the town and loved by people.
"It is a great shame we have these mindless individuals who seem to think it fun to wreck it."
The dino trail has been subject to several unsavoury incidents.
Video footage widely circulated on social media last year showed a nude man straddling one of the model dinosaurs.
Another photo which surfaced on social media in June last year depicted a youth sitting atop one of the models, which make up the town's Jurassic Coast trail.
The model was later found with substantial damage and had to be repaired. Another model was tagged with graffiti.
Last year, Exmouth Town Council coughed up more than £700 in repairs to the dinosaur trail. In 2017, the authority spent £631 on repairs.
The dinosaurs were removed and put in storage for the following year.