Artist Kirk Larsen was planning to check out three dinosaur replicas at the Eccles Dinosaur Park after refurbishing them when he discovered that they had vanished. The three raptor replicas, which are worth more than $10,000 to $20,000, have educated children visiting the park for more than a decade now. “Why—why would someone steal them? What purpose do they have with three dinosaur statues?” Larsen said.
The Eccles Dinosaur Park is located in Ogden, Utah -- home to over 100 replicas of dinosaurs that once roamed our planet. Visitors can take a look at the fossilized remains of displayed there and watch paleontologists at work in a lab. Thus, the news of the stolen raptors surprised not only the staff but also the visitors. Recent reports showed that the thieves stole three fiberglass raptors, each measuring five feet tall and seven feet wide. They were depicted attacking a larger dinosaur with one model mounted onto the side of the unfortunate prey and two bolted to the ground.
|Credits: Smithsonian Mag|
Fortunately, the thieves failed to get the replicas out of the park. According to Smithsonian Mag, the official journal published by the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., disembodied raptor feet were found by a back fence, where the culprits seem to have made their escape. The Ogden Police stated that the thieves knew what they were doing because they used unique tools and somehow avoided the park’s cameras.
|Credits: Visit Ogden|
The raptors have been displayed in the park for the past 15 years. “It was kind of confusing why we just repaired them and restored them and they were moved, but that wasn’t the case,” Larsen said. While the reasons why the thieves tried to steal the raptors remain unclear, the park is delighted to recover the models. “Thank you all for the outpouring of love and for sharing the story about our Dino's [sic]! They were found and recovered today!!” the park said in a Facebook post.